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Press Release 10-01-1997


WASHINGTON -- In a letter to the White House today, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chairman Gilbert F. Casellas informed President Clinton that he would resign from the agency effective at the end of this year. Chairman Casellas will be leaving the Administration after more than four years of service, the first as General Counsel of the Air Force and the last three as EEOC Chairman.

"I am proud to turn over an agency that for the first time in years is respected for its enforcement activities, credited for its outreach to underserved communities, applauded for its efforts to encourage voluntary compliance, and praised for its internal reforms," he wrote.

He attributed much of EEOC's successes during his tenure to staff, many of whose professional careers have been spent mostly in enforcing equal employment law."They have supported me as I have worked to articulate our unqualified support for the fair a nd vigorous enforcement of our civil rights laws, our passionate belief in the justice of those laws and our tireless commitment to the continuous improvement of employment opportunities for all people," Casellas said.

In his letter he emphasized the positive effects that agency charge processing reforms have had on EEOC's "well-known backlog (of discrimination cases)." He explained that the 70,000 cases currently pending at EEOC "pale in comparison" to the over 112,000 cases pending prior to the reforms being implemented just two years ago. He said he was particularly proud that the agency "is resolving more cases, in shorter periods, for higher monetary benefits, with the smallest staff in twenty years." In addition to these achievements, this week Casellas will publicly announce a major policy initiative to reform the federal EEO process.

His letter concluded: "I thank you, Mr. President, for giving me the opportunity to serve my country and to serve the core values on which this country was built."