A look back and a look forward at the EEOC
There have been many changes at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the last year. A new Chair was finally confirmed in 2019. This allowed for the Commission to have a quorum and to be able to move forward with lawsuits and proposing regulations. Although EEOC should have five members, with at least three members, it can conduct the important business of the commission. Perhaps in this new year, two more members will be named so that the commission will be at its full strength. Currently, there are two Republican members and one Democratic member; moreover, there should be one additional member from each party.
Following the confirmation of the Chair, Janet Dhillon, a new General Counsel, Sharon Gustafson, was named. Although the General Counsel is not a Commissioner, she does meet with the members and advise them on legal matters. The General Counsel has a major role in assisting the Commissioners with EEOC legal matters and opinions.
EEOC also named a new Legal Counsel. This person oversees the branch of EEOC that develops policies and guidance. The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) also provides technical assistance to employers.
The last new appointment that made consisted of the naming of EEOC’s new Chief Operating Officer. His appointment was just made last week. He is responsible for the daily overall operations of the commission.
Once there was a quorum, many other appointments were made which had previously been put on hold. These appointments were for higher-level field positions at EEOC.
If you do not already subscribe to EEOC’s news, I would encourage you to visit the website and do so. You can select the areas of law that interest you and you will then receive emails regarding those issues. I think one of the most useful areas is the posting of lawsuits EEOC has been involved in and the settlements into which they have entered. This information is helpful for employers because it provides insight into the types of cases EEOC is pursuing.