President Trump Appoints Lipnic to Serve as Acting Chair of the EEOC
Authors: Leigh M. Nason (Columbia), Hera S. Arsen, Ph.D. (Torrance)
Published Date: January 25, 2017
On January 25, 2017, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that President Trump has appointed Victoria Lipnic to serve as the acting chair of the federal agency. Lipnic will take over for Jenny Yang, who has been the current chair since September of 2014.
Lipnic’s career with the EEOC started in 2010 when President Obama appointed her to the federal agency, and she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a term ending on July 1, 2015. President Obama later nominated her a second time, and the Senate confirmed her appointment in November of 2015. Her current term is set to expire on July 1, 2020.
Lipnic previously was in private practice and served as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from 2002 to 2009. The Employment Standards Administration, which was eliminated in 2009, previously oversaw the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the Office of Labor-Management Standards, and the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. While Lipnic was assistant labor secretary, the OFCCP issued the first regulation to evaluate compensation discrimination.
In addition to her work with the DOL, Lipnic previously served as workforce policy counsel for the majority Republican members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
In an EEOC press release, Lipnic commented,
I am honored and humbled to be chosen by President Trump to serve as Acting Chair of EEOC, the agency which safeguards the civil rights of American workers . . . I believe equal employment opportunity is critical to all Americans and to how we define ourselves as a nation. I look forward to working with the President, my colleagues at EEOC, Congress, and, of course, the American people in this critical task.
Appointment of the new acting chair raises questions regarding whether the revised annual Employer Information Report (EEO-1) is here to stay. As recently as September of 2016, the EEOC officially announced that, starting in March of 2018, it would start collecting summary employee pay data and total hours worked information from employers with 100 or more employees. If the new reporting requirements go into effect as planned, their implementation would mark the first time pay information would be reported on the EEO-1 filing. Whether or not this controversial new data collection tool will take effect will depend on the course of Lipnic’s efforts as the EEOC chair.
Leigh Nason is a shareholder in the Columbia, South Carolina office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, P.C., and chairs the firm’s Affirmative Action/OFCCP Compliance Practice Group. She currently devotes the majority of her practice to representing federal contractors and subcontractors in compliance evaluations and administrative enforcement actions triggered by the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).Ms. Nason has...
Hera S. Arsen, J.D., Ph.D. is Senior Marketing Counsel overseeing the firm's print and online legal publications and content. Hera, who joined Ogletree Deakins in 2003, is directly responsible for writing and editing the firm's national legal content, including coverage of federal agencies and the Supreme Court of the United States. She also oversees the Ogletree Deakins blog, which covers the latest legal news from over 20 practice-areas and jurisdictions. As leader of the firm's blog, Hera...