The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a bipartisan Commission comprised of five presidentially-appointed members, including the Chair, Vice Chair, and three Commissioners. The Chair is responsible for the administration and implementation of policy and the financial management and organizational development of the Commission. The Commissioners participate equally in the development and approval of Commission policies, issue charges of discrimination where appropriate, and authorize the filing of some lawsuits. In addition to the Commissioners, the President appoints a General Counsel to support the Commission and provide direction, coordination, and supervision to the EEOC's litigation program. A brief description of major program areas is provided on the following pages.
When the Commission first opened its doors in 1965, it was charged with enforcing the employment provisions of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC's jurisdiction over employment discrimination issues has since grown and now includes the following areas:
The Office of Field Programs, the Office of General Counsel, and 53 field offices, insure that the EEOC effectively enforces the statutory, regulatory, policy, and program responsibilities of the Commission through a variety of resolution methods tailored to each charge. Staff is responsible for achieving a wide range of objectives, which focus on the quality, timeliness, and appropriateness of individual, class, and systemic charges and for securing relief for victims of discrimination in accordance with Commission policies. Staff also counsel individuals about their rights under the laws enforced by the EEOC and conduct outreach and technical assistance programs. The Office of General Counsel conducts litigation in federal district courts and in the federal courts of appeals.
Additionally, through the Office of Field Program's State and Local Program, the EEOC maintains work sharing agreements and a contract services program with 94 state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs) for the purpose of coordinating the investigation of charges dual-filed under state and local laws and federal law, as appropriate. The EEOC partners with more than 60 Tribal Employment Rights Offices (TEROs) to promote equal employment opportunity on or near Indian reservations.
The Office of Legal Counsel develops policy guidance, provides technical assistance to employers and employees, and coordinates with other agencies and stakeholders regarding the statutes and regulations enforced by the Commission. The Office of Legal Counsel also includes an external litigation and advice division and a Freedom of Information Act unit.
Through its Office of Federal Operations, the EEOC provides leadership and guidance to federal agencies on all aspects of the federal government's equal employment opportunity program. This office assures federal agency and department compliance with EEOC regulations, provides technical assistance to federal agencies concerning EEO complaint adjudication, monitors and evaluates federal agencies' affirmative employment programs, develops and distributes federal sector educational materials and conducts training for stakeholders, provides guidance and assistance to EEOC administrative judges who conduct hearings on EEO complaints, and adjudicates appeals from administrative decisions made by federal agencies on EEO complaints.
The EEOC receives a congressional appropriation to fund the necessary expenses of enforcing civil rights legislation, as well as performing the prevention, outreach, and coordination of activities within the private and public sectors. In addition, the EEOC maintains a Training Institute for technical assistance programs. These programs provide fee-based education and training relating to the laws administered by the Commission.
Jacqueline A. Berrien was sworn in as Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on April 7, 2010. President Barack Obama nominated Berrien on July 16, 2009, to a term ending July 1, 2014. In announcing her nomination, the President said that Berrien "has spent her entire career fighting to give voice to underrepresented communities and protect our most basic rights." President Obama signed a recess appointment for her on March 27, 2010. She received a recess appointment to the position on March, 27, 2010, and was confirmed by the Senate for her full term on December 22, 2010.
Chair Berrien comes to the EEOC from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), where she served as Associate Director-Counsel for five and a half years. In that position, she reported directly to the organization's President and Director-Counsel and assisted with the direction and implementation of LDF's national legal advocacy and scholarship programs.
Chair Berrien is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she served as a General Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree with High Honors in government from Oberlin College and also completed a major in English. In her junior year at Oberlin she received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship in recognition of her leadership potential and commitment to a career in public service. She is a native of Washington, D.C. and has lived in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, Peter M. Williams since 1987.
For more information about Chair Berrien, please see: www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/berrien.cfm
Constance Smith Barker has been a member of the Commission since 2008. She was nominated by President George W. Bush on March 31, 2008, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate on June 27, 2008 to serve the remainder of a five-year term expiring on July 1, 2011. On May 19, 2011, Ms. Barker was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve a second term to expire on July 1, 2016. The nomination to the second term was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on September 26, 2011.
Prior to her appointment to the Commission, Ms. Barker was a shareholder for 13 years at the law firm of Capell & Howard, P.C. in Montgomery, Alabama. As a member of the firm's Labor and Employment Section, she provided advice and counsel to businesses and defended businesses sued for employment discrimination. She also provided training on state and federal employment discrimination laws. Her public sector experience includes serving for four years as a prosecutor in the 11th Judicial Circuit and later in the 13th Judicial Circuit of Alabama. As an Assistant District Attorney she tried numerous jury and bench trials. Ms. Barker also served for 11 years as General Counsel to the Mobile County Public School System, a large city and county school system. Ms. Barker also served as a part-time municipal judge for two municipalities in Mobile, Ala. and was actively involved in Mobile's juvenile justice system.
A native of Florence, Ala., Ms. Barker was awarded a juris doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1977. She received a bachelor's degree from Notre Dame University in 1973, where she was in the first class of women to graduate from that previously all-male institution. While at Notre Dame, she also studied for a year in Angers, France at l'Université Catholique de l'Ouest.
For more information about Commissioner Barker, please see: www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/barker.cfm
Chai R. Feldblum was nominated to serve as a Commissioner of the EEOC by President Barack Obama on September 15, 2009 for a term ending on July 1, 2013. On March 27, 2010, she was given a recess appointment to the post, and was sworn in on April 7, 2010. She was confirmed by the Senate for her term on December 22, 2010.
Prior to her appointment to the EEOC, Ms. Feldblum was a Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center where she had taught since 1991. At Georgetown, she founded the Law Center's Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic, a program designed to train students to become legislative lawyers. As Co-Director of Workplace Flexibility 2010, Ms. Feldblum has worked to advance flexible workplaces in a manner that works for employees and employers. Commissioner Feldblum also previously served as Legislative Counsel to the AIDS Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. In this role, she developed legislation, analyzed policy on various AIDS-related issues, and played a leading role in drafting the ground-breaking Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Later, as a law professor, she was equally instrumental helping in the passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.
Ms. Feldblum has also worked on advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and has been a leading expert on the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. She clerked for Judge Frank Coffin of the First Circuit Court of Appeals and for Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun after receiving her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She received her B.A. degree from Barnard College.
For more information about Commissioner Feldblum, please see: www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/feldblum.cfm
Victoria A. Lipnic was nominated to serve as a Commissioner of the EEOC by President Barack Obama on November 3, 2009. She was nominated for a term ending on July 1, 2010, and has been confirmed by the Senate for a second term ending on July 1, 2015.
Immediately before coming to the EEOC, Ms. Lipnic was of counsel to the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP in its Washington, DC, office. She brings to the EEOC a breadth of experience working with federal labor and employment laws, most recently as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards, a position she held from 2002 until 2009. In that position, Ms. Lipnic oversaw the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, and the Office of Labor Management Standards. Under her tenure, the Wage and Hour Division revised regulations regarding overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, reissued regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs issued new guidance and regulations for evaluating compensation discrimination.
A native of Carrolltown, Penn., where her late father was a teacher and long-serving mayor, Ms. Lipnic earned a B.A. degree in Political Science and History from Allegheny College and a J.D. degree from George Mason University School of Law.
For more information about Commissioner Lipnic, please see: www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/lipnic.cfm
Ms. Yang was nominated by President Barack Obama on August 2, 2012, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on April 25, 2013, to serve a term expiring July 1, 2017. Throughout her career in the private, government, and nonprofit sectors, Ms. Yang has worked to ensure fairness and equal opportunity in the workplace. Ms. Yang was a partner of Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll PLLC. She joined the firm in 2003, and has represented thousands of employees across the country in numerous complex civil rights and employment actions. As chair of the firm's hiring and diversity committee, Ms. Yang has experience with the numerous issues employers confront in making hiring and other personnel decisions.
Prior to that, Ms. Yang served as a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section, where she enforced federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment by state and local government employers from 1998 to 2003. Before that, she worked at the National Employment Law Project to enforce the workplace rights of garment workers. Ms. Yang clerked for the Honorable Edmund Ludwig on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Yang received her B.A. from Cornell University in Government. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Note and Comment Editor of the Law Review and a Root-Tilden Public Interest Scholar.
For more information about Commissioner Yang, please see: www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/yang.cfm
P. David Lopez was sworn in on April 8, 2010, as General Counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). He was nominated by President Obama on Oct. 22, 2009, and given a recess appointment on March 27, 2010, and confirmed by the Senate on December 22, 2010.
Mr. Lopez is the first field staff attorney to be appointed as General Counsel, having served in the Commission for 15 years in the field and at headquarters. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Lopez was a Supervisory Trial Attorney at the Commission's Phoenix District Office, where he oversaw the litigation of a team of trial attorneys. When Mr. Lopez initially joined the Commission 1996, he served as Special Assistant to then-Chairman Gilbert F. Casellas in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, he advised Chairman Casellas on policy and litigation matters and helped develop the agency's strategic plan for development of pattern or practice cases.
Immediately prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Lopez was a Senior Trial Attorney with the Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Division, of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. between 1991 and 1994. In this capacity, he litigated employment discrimination cases against state and local governments in numerous jurisdictions throughout the United States on behalf of the Department of Justice. Mr. Lopez graduated from Harvard Law School in 1988 and graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University in 1985, with a B.S. in Political Science. He has been married 19 years to Maria Leyva. They have three children, Javier David, Julian Diego and Luis Andres.
For more information about General Counsel Lopez, please see: www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/lopez.cfm
|ADA||Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990|
|ADAAA||Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008|
|ADEA||Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967|
|ADR||Alternative Dispute Resolution|
|CFO||Chief Financial Officer|
|CHCO||Chief Human Capital Officer|
|DMS||Document Management System|
|EEO||Equal Employment Opportunity|
|EEOC||Equal Employment Opportunity Commission|
|EPA||Equal Pay Act of 1963|
|EXCEL||Examining Conflicts in Employment Laws|
|FEPA||Fair Employment Practice Agency|
|FLSA||Fair Labor Standards Act|
|FMFIA||Federal Managers Financial Integrity Act|
|FOIA||Freedom of Information Act|
|GINA||Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008|
|GSA||General Services Administration|
|IIG||Intake Information Group|
|IFMS||Integrated Financial Management System|
|IMS||Integrated Mission System|
|OFO||Office of Federal Operations|
|OFP||Office of Field Programs|
|OGC||Office of General Counsel|
|OIG||Office of Inspector General|
|OMB||Office of Management and Budget|
|OPM||Office of Personnel Management|
|PMA||President's Management Agenda|
|PCHP||Priority Charge Handling Procedures|
|TAPS||Technical Assistance Program Seminar|
|TERO||Tribal Employment Rights Offices|
|UAM||Universal Agreement to Mediate|
Past EEOC Performance and Accountability Reports: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/archives/annualreports/index.cfm
EEOC Strategic Plan: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/strategic_plan_12to16.cfm
EEOC FY 2014 Performance Budget: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/2014budget.cfm
Past EEOC Performance Budgets: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/archives/budgets/index.cfm
EEOC Annual Report on the Federal Workforce: http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/reports/fsp2011/index.cfm
EEOC Open Government Plan: http://www.eeoc.gov/open/index.cfm
EEOC Statistics: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/index.cfm