EEOC's Republican Majority Cemented Through 2022

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

September 30, 2020

The Senate recently confirmed three new commissioners for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), ensuring the agency will have a Republican majority through at least 2022.

With a 3-2 GOP majority, the EEOC can be expected to continue taking an employer-friendly approach to enforcing federal workplace discrimination laws on a variety of fronts, including:

  • Advancing EEOC chair Janet Dhillon's priorities, which include providing the business community with "robust compliance assistance";
  • Finalizing proposed regulations that would allow employers to offer no more than a de minimis incentive to encourage participation in most wellness programs without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and
  • Shaping the EEOC's future plans for collecting data from employers about the gender, racial and ethnic makeup of their workforces.

The new commissioners are:

  • Keith E. Sonderling (R), whose term ends July 1, 2024;
  • Andrea R. Lucas (R), whose term ends July 1, 2025; and
  • Jocelyn Samuels (D), whose term ends July 1, 2021.

They join Dhillon (R), who was confirmed in 2019 for a term ending July 1, 2022, and Charlotte A. Burrows (D) whose second term ends July 1, 2023.

In recent years, the EEOC has shifted its strategic plan to, among other things, focus on complex employment relationships and structures such as temporary workers, staffing agencies, independent contractor relationships and the on-demand economy.