Posted on March 26, 2021

Cigna’s Critical Race Theory Training: Don’t Say ‘Brown Bag Lunch’

Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, March 19, 2021

Employees at one of the nation’s largest health insurance providers are routinely subjected to far-left critical race theory lessons and asked not to consider white men in hiring decisions, according to leaked documents and chat logs obtained by the Washington Examiner.

Those who work at Cigna told the Washington Examiner that they are expected to undergo sensitivity training they consider racist and discriminatory. Lessons include reviews of concepts such as ” white privilege,” “gender privilege,” and something called “religious privilege,” which is described as “a set of advantages that benefits believers of a certain religion but not people who practice other religions or no religions at all.”

Employees say they are pressured to comply with “inclusive language” outlines that suggest replacing terms like “Brown Bag Lunch” with “lunch-and-learn” or “grab n’ go.”


{snip} Employees are also asked to go through a “Societal Norms checklist” and tick off boxes if they are “White,” “Christian,” or “Heterosexual.”


Cigna, valued in the tens of billions, boasts over 73,000 employees in offices worldwide. A 2020 Fortune 500 ranking placed the corporation as the No. 13 largest in the country as measured by revenue.

The company recommends employees learn more about racism by reading controversial books such as White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi. The book list also includes two works by accused left-wing terrorist Angela Davis, Policing the Black Man and Are Prisons Obsolete? Davis was arrested in 1970 on kidnapping and murder charges following a deadly attack on the Marin County Civic Center.

The lessons learned from the sensitivity training seminars, some employees allege, have even extended to the hiring process.

Thousands of companies openly consider diversity when giving promotions or hiring new talent, but Cigna’s practices go a step further, one employee alleges.

Chat logs between an employee and a hiring manager viewed by the Washington Examiner detail an incident where a minority candidate with strong credentials performed exceptionally well in an interview. When that employee suggested to the hiring manager that the company wave the candidate through to the next step in the process, the hiring manager dismissed the candidate under the assumption he was white.

After learning that the candidate belonged to a minority group, the manager said she was excited to hire him, despite learning virtually nothing else about his background.

“Given the hiring practices they have in place where white, male candidates are blocked, regardless of qualifications, I have to say, ‘Yes, there’s obvious discrimination at this company,'” one employee told the Washington Examiner.

Another time, an employee suggested a candidate with years of industry experience. That employee was informed by the hiring manager that the candidate, a white man, could not be interviewed because he didn’t meet the diversity criteria.


Following the death of George Floyd last May, the company began holding mandatory town halls, which one employee described as a “white giant guilt” event.