Victoria Lipnic, the new acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, suggested that her agency will focus on cases involving age discrimination and equal pay while exploring ways to foster job growth in companies. She was asked about how the EEOC would change under the Trump administration, Lipnic said she believes more will remain the same than will change. “We are an enforcement agency,” she said, “and the EEOC is committed to its core values and mission, to enforce civil rights laws in the workplace.”
Currently there are four commissioners—three Democrats and Lipnic, a Republican, along with one vacancy. Also, one Democratic commissioner’s term ends on July 1, and Trump will presumably appoint Republicans to both vacancies, giving the GOP control of the agency.
Lipnic on EEOC Downward Slope in Filings
Lipnic said the EEOC filed only 86 lawsuits last year under the previous administration, which continued a trend of a steady decline in number since 2002. Under the Bush administration, she said 350 to 400 lawsuits per year were filed. She did talk about a few changes. She said she wants the commission to have an opportunity to see and vote on more litigation issues. She believes too many decisions on litigation have been delegated to the general counsel in the past seven years.
Tomorrow on February 14, Lipnic will be holding a seminar regarding sexual harassment in the workplace and her June 2016 report on the issue.