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ABA Names EEOC Lawyer Peggy Mastroianni Federal Labor/Employment Attorney Of Year

WASHINGTON – Peggy R. Mastroianni, Associate Legal Counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), has received the 2009 “Federal Labor and Employment Attorney of the Year” award from the American Bar Association (ABA), the EEOC announced today.


Mastroianni, who has led the EEOC’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) for much of 2009, was selected for the award by the ABA’s Section of Labor and Employment Law. This distinguished award recognizes a federal attorney whose professional achievements exemplify excellence of legal work in the field of labor and employment law.


According to the ABA, the award winner must have demonstrated a strong commitment to government service; demonstrated outstanding contribution to the legal profession through sustained excellence in the quality of his or her work; exemplified the highest level of integrity and dedication to the law and government service, as well as leadership both within his or her federal agency and beyond; and contributed significantly to the advancement of labor or employment law.


“I am personally honored to present this award to Peggy Mastroianni,” said Nora Macey, Chair of the ABA’s Section of Labor and Employment Law. “Peggy embodies the ideal of federal service through her more than thirty years of dedication to the enforcement of federal laws providing for equal opportunity in the workplace. Beyond the excellence of her work, Peggy’s career is exemplary for her willingness to listen to the real life concerns of the labor and employment law bar and to provide clear and well considered guidance on the meaning of federal law as it impacts our clients.”


EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru said, “Peggy has devoted her life’s work to advancing the cause of equal employment opportunity and to upholding the highest ideals of federal service. She inspires the employees under her supervision, and commands the utmost respect from those who work with and for her. She also has given invaluable counsel to numerous EEOC Chairs on a variety of complex procedural and substantive matters, and is a tremendous resource to our field offices and stakeholders.”


Mastroianni has worked as an EEOC attorney for more than 30 years. She has served as OLC’s most senior civil servant for more than a decade, leading the office for several periods when no political appointee was present. She has led and supervised the drafting of EEOC regulations, sub-regulatory guidance, and other interpretive and technical assistance documents under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination In Employment Act, the Equal Pay Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (which goes into effect November 21, 2009).


Mastroianni joined OLC in 1991 as the Director of the ADA Policy Division, where she was responsible for developing guidance documents interpreting the then-recently passed landmark statute prohibiting employment discrimination against people with disabilities. She continued to supervise the development of ADA guidance after she was promoted to Associate Legal Counsel – most recently overseeing proposed regulations implementing the ADA Amendments Act – and is a nationally recognized ADA expert. Prior to her work in OLC, Mastroianni served as a trial attorney and appellate attorney in the EEOC’s Office of General Counsel.


Mastroianni received the award today at the ABA section’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. Prior EEOC recipients of the ABA’s Federal Labor and Employment Attorney of the Year award include EEOC Assistant General Counsel Vincent Blackwood and Dallas Regional Attorney Robert Canino. In 2008, Mastroianni was selected for the “Mary C. Lawton Outstanding Government Service Award” by the ABA’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice.


The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at