President Joe Biden has switched the management of the Equal Employment Alternative Fee (EEOC) from Republicans to Democrats, however the GOP nonetheless holds a majority of the fee’s 5 seats, which means fast main coverage modifications might not be fast in coming.
On January 20, Biden named Democrat Charlotte Burrows chair of the EEOC. She has served on the fee since 2014. Her time period is ready to run out on July 1, 2023, however she could also be renominated.
Additionally on January 20, Biden named the opposite Democrat on the fee, Jocelyn Samuels, vice chair. Samuels joined the fee in October 2020. Her time period is ready to run out on July 1, 2021, however she additionally could also be renominated.
The opposite members of the fee are Republicans Janet Dhillon, who served as chair throughout the earlier administration whose time period expires on July 1, 2022; Keith Sonderling, whose time period expires on July 1, 2024; and Andrea Lucas, whose time period expires on July 1, 2025.
Democrats Stay within the Minority
How a lot change will the brand new management carry? Nita Beecher, an legal professional with FortneyScott in Washington, D.C., says main change could also be restricted. “At present, the Democrats are within the minority and shall be till former Chair Dhillon leaves on July 1, 2022, except she decides to resign earlier than her time period ends,” Beecher says. “So, there are limitations as to what Burrows will be capable to do till the Democrats have a majority.”
As for what priorities the EEOC is more likely to pursue within the Biden administration, Beecher says she expects LGBT discrimination and race and intercourse pay discrimination, together with pay knowledge assortment, to high the record.
Beecher says the Republicans have been targeted on spiritual discrimination, and he or she expects the Democrats “to try to make clear that spiritual liberty doesn’t permit employers to discriminate towards LGBT people.”
Jonathan Mook, an legal professional with DiMuroGinsberg P.C. in Alexandria, Virginia, agrees the Biden administration isn’t more likely to be towards defending spiritual rights however could also be extra reasonable when spiritual beliefs and different rights conflict.
However, Burrow Will Management Company’s Agenda
“Though the Democratic management will nonetheless be outnumbered so long as the Republican commissioners stay and don’t resign previous to the expiration of their phrases, Chair Burrows, by advantage of her place, will get to manage the fee agenda,” Vann says. “So, whereas we might not see many, if any, new coverage proposals requiring a fee vote—particularly ones that may purport to undo any of the prior administration’s actions—the Republicans ostensibly shall be unable to advance partisan coverage modifications both, despite the fact that they technically are within the majority proper now.”
Vann says the Biden administration’s EEOC “could also be restricted in its efforts to enact any main laws, equivalent to reinstatement of the controversial EEO-1 ‘Part 2’ pay knowledge assortment, or effectuate main coverage modifications within the absence of bipartisan consensus.”
Tammy Binford writes and edits information alerts and e-newsletter articles on labor and employment regulation matters for BLR net and print publications.