U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
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.
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.
From 2001 to 2004, Berrien was a Program Officer in the Governance and Civil Society Unit of the Ford Foundation’s Peace and Social Justice Program, where she administered more than $13 million in grants to promote greater political participation by underrepresented groups and remove barriers to civic engagement. During her tenure with the Ford Foundation, Berrien also co-chaired the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation, a philanthropic affinity group affiliated with the Council on Foundations.
Before joining the Ford Foundation, Berrien practiced civil rights law for more than 15 years. Between 1994 and 2001, she was an Assistant Counsel with LDF, where she coordinated all of LDF’s work in the area of voting rights and political participation and represented voters in proceedings before the U.S. Supreme Court and federal and state appellate and trial courts. Between 1987 and 1994, Berrien worked as an attorney with the Voting Rights Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in Washington, D.C., and with the National Legal Department and Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in New York.
She began her legal career in 1986, working as a law clerk to the Honorable U.W. Clemon, the first African-American U.S. District Court Judge in Birmingham, Ala. She has published several articles on race and gender discrimination issues and was appointed to the adjunct faculty of New York Law School in 1995. Berrien also taught trial advocacy at Harvard and Fordham law schools.
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.
Stuart J. Ishimaru has been a member of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since 2003, nominated by President George W. Bush upon the recommendation of Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. He currently is serving a second term, upon the recommendation of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, that expires July 1, 2012. He was designated by President Obama as Acting Chairman of the Commission on January 20, 2009 and served in that capacity until April 7, 2010.
During his tenure as Acting Chairman, Mr. Ishimaru worked to rebuild the EEOC, which had become under-funded and under-staffed. Under his leadership, the agency obtained record budgets from the Congress, and embarked on an aggressive hiring initiative to significantly increase its front-line enforcement staff. He also dedicated substantial agency resources to a multi-million dollar training effort—the largest the agency had conducted in at least a decade—to equip EEOC employees with essential skills and knowledge they need to investigate and litigate large and complex discrimination cases.
Mr. Ishimaru emphasized the EEOC’s critical role as a law enforcement agency, encouraging the Commission’s employees to carry out the agency’s mission fairly and vigorously. He committed agency resources to investigating and litigating systemic cases—larger cases with the potential to provide relief for numerous victims of discrimination and to bring about positive change in entire companies and industries. Under his leadership, during fiscal year 2009, the Commission recovered a total of $376 million in relief for victims of discrimination (including a record $294 million in monetary relief obtained by the Commission in its administrative enforcement process, and an additional $82 million secured through Commission litigation).
Mr. Ishimaru worked to reinvigorate the agency's emphasis on race discrimination issues. He also was instrumental in the Commission's adoption of groundbreaking guidance and “best practices” to help employers avoid engaging in gender and disability discrimination against workers who have caregiving responsibilities. In addition, Mr. Ishimaru spearheaded the first public Commission meeting in years to focus on age discrimination, examining the effect of the recent recession and of adverse Supreme Court decisions on the rights of older workers to secure equal employment opportunity.
During Mr. Ishimaru’s tenure as Acting Chairman, the Commission published proposed regulations to implement the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. He was the first Administration official to testify before Congress in support of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. He also testified before the Senate in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act (an Act to reinvigorate and bolster the protections against gender-based wage discrimination provided by the Equal Pay Act of 1963).
While he was Acting Chairman, Ishimaru’s other priorities included improving access to the EEOC and its services. He had pressed agency staff across the country to reach out to underserved populations and communities. Further, during his time at the Commission, Mr. Ishimaru has worked with former EEOC Acting Vice Chair Christine Griffin to increase diversity and equal employment opportunities in the federal sector. He led a Commission workgroup that developed consensus recommendations to improve the federal sector complaint process, many of which have been implemented or serve as the basis for current proposed regulatory changes.
Mr. Ishimaru previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice between 1999 and 2001, where he served as a principal advisor to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, advising on management, policy, and political issues involving the Civil Rights Division. He supervised the Division's attorneys in high-profile litigation, including employment discrimination cases, fair housing and fair lending cases, criminal police misconduct, hate crime and slavery prosecutions, and enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act. From 1994-1999, Mr. Ishimaru served as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and provided advice on a broad range of issues.
In 1993, Mr. Ishimaru was appointed by President Clinton to be the Acting Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and from 1984-1993 he served on the professional staffs of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights and two House Armed Services Subcommittees of the U.S. Congress.
Mr. Ishimaru, a native of San Jose, California, received his A.B. in Political Science and in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and his law degree from the George Washington University. He is married to Agnieszka Fryszman, an attorney, and they have two sons, Matthew and Benjamin.
Constance Smith Barker was sworn in as a Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on July 14, 2008. Commissioner Barker 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.
As a former employment litigator representing primarily small businesses in Alabama, Commissioner Barker is sensitive to the challenges and frustrations of small businesses in the current economy. It is for this reason that she continually stresses the EEOC’s obligation to help small businesses apply the complex legal requirements of the employment laws and regulations to real-life work situations.
Commissioner Barker is also focused on the occurrence of worksite rape and sexual assault against young women and girls (particularly seasonal farmworkers) who work in isolated locations and are vulnerable to sexual abuse by supervisors. She is working to raise awareness of the problem and to coordinate efforts to protect these young women under the laws enforced by the EEOC.
Commissioner Barker brings to the Commission extensive experience in labor and employment law, including experience in both the private and public sectors. Prior to her appointment to the Commission, she 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 11 th Judicial Circuit and later in the 13 th Judicial Circuit of Alabama. As an Assistant District Attorney she tried numerous jury and bench trials. Commissioner Barker also served for 11 years as General Counsel to the Mobile County Public School System, a large city and county school system. Commissioner Barker also served as a part-time municipal judge for two municipalities in Mobile, Alabama and was actively involved in Mobile’s juvenile justice system.
Commissioner Barker was awarded the Alabama State Bar’s Award of Merit for outstanding constructive service to the legal profession in 2007. She was cited by the Bar for her work as Co-Chairman of the Alabama Judicial Campaign Oversight Committee. While serving on the board of the Mobile Area YWCA she also co-chaired the YWCA’s widely attended annual empowerment conference for Alabama women – the Bay Area Women’s Conference. Commissioner Barker is also an avid supporter of the arts and served as President of the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra.
A native of Florence, Alabama, Commissioner 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.
Chai 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.
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.
Ms. Feldblum 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.
Chai 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.
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 both a term ending on July 1, 2010, and a second term ending on July 1, 2015. On March 27, 2010, she was given a recess appointment to that position.
Immediately before coming to the EEOC, Ms. Lipnic was of counsel to the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP in its Washington, DC, office.
Ms. Lipnic 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, she 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.
In addition to her work with the Department of Labor, Ms. Lipnic’s government experience includes service as Workforce Policy Counsel to the then-Majority (Republican) members of the Committee on Education and the Workforce in the U.S. House of Representatives. Before her work for Congress, Ms. Lipnic acted as in-house counsel for labor and employment matters to the U.S. Postal Service for six years. She also served as a special assistant for business liaison to the then U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Malcolm Baldrige.
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.
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, pending confirmation by the full Senate. Mr. Lopez is the first field staff attorney to be appointed as General Counsel.
David Lopez has served in the Commission for 15 years in the field and at headquarters. Prior to this, 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. He also represented the EEOC in an inter-agency working group commissioned by the Clinton White House to monitor potentially discriminatory immigration legislation. In addition, as Special Assistant, he oversaw the development and coordinated the implementation of the Commission’s National Enforcement Plan, which is still in effect today.
In 1998, he joined the Phoenix District Office as a Senior Trial Attorney, later becoming a Supervisory Trial Attorney, fulfilling a long-held dream to practice civil rights law in his beloved hometown. During his tenure, Mr. Lopez has successfully tried several cases on behalf of the EEOC and its charging parties. These trials represent litigation on a wide variety of legal bases. He has won significant jury verdicts against Alamo Rent-a-Car (CV 02-1908-PHX-ROS, the first post-9/11 backlash religious accommodation case brought by the EEOC), GoDaddy (CV 04-2062-PHX-DGC, a national origin, religion, and retaliation case), and AutoZone (CV 06-926-PHX-SMM, an egregious sexual harassment case), to name a few.
In addition, Mr. Lopez has extensive experience developing large, high-impact systemic cases. Most notably, his involvement was pivotal in settlements reached in EEOC v. WalMart (CV 98-276-TUC-WDB, hearing impairment/disability), EEOC v. United Parcel Service (CV 98-1015-PHX-RGS, return to work policy/disability), EEOC v. Lennar Homes (CV 03-1827-PHX-DGC, age discrimination/RIF), EEOC v. AutoZone (CV 06-1767-PCT-PGR, visual impairment/reasonable accommodation) EEOC v. Pinnacle Nissan (CV 00-1872-PHX-LOA, race and national origin harassment), EEOC v. Blockbuster (CV 04-2007-PHX-FJM, religious accommodation) and EEOC v. University of Phoenix (CV 06-2303-PHX-MHM, religion disparate treatment case). In all of these settlements, large-scale monetary relief and extensive injunctive relief were obtained on behalf of the Commission and the victims of discrimination.
During his tenure in Phoenix, Mr. Lopez exhibited an eye for systemic litigation in novel issue areas, thereby contributing to the realization of the targeted National Enforcement Plan he helped create while serving as Special Assistant. Mr. Lopez has also done extensive speaking and outreach to bar associations, schools, and community based groups.
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.
Mr. Lopez has been married 19 years to Maria Leyva. They have three children, Javier David, Julian Diego and Luis Andres.
Christine M. Griffin, nominated by former President George W. Bush on July 28, 2005, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, was sworn in on January 3, 2006. She served as Acting Vice Chair from January 2009 until her resignation from the Commission on January 2, 2010. She is currently serving as the Deputy Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
While at the Commission, Ms. Griffin was vocal in her support of increasing diversity in the federal workforce, as well as promoting greater efficiency and fairness in the federal EEO process. She has also been a strong advocate for women’s rights and the rights of individuals with disabilities. Notably, in June 2006 Ms. Griffin launched the LEAD Initiative—Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities—to address the significant under-employment of individuals with severe disabilities in the federal government.
|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|
|LEAD||Leadership for the Employment of Americans with Disabilities|
|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|
EEOC FY 2010 Performance and Accountability Report: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/2010par.cfm
EEOC FY 2009 Performance and Accountability Report: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/archives/annualreports/par/2009/index.html
EEOC FY 2008 Performance and Accountability Report: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/archives/annualreports/par/2008/index.html
EEOC Strategic Plan: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/strategic_plan_07to12_mod.cfm
EEOC FY 2011 Performance Budget: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/2011budget.cfm
EEOC FY 2010 Performance Budget: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/2010budget.cfm
EEOC FY 2009 Performance Budget: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/archives/budgets/2009budget/index.cfm
EEOC Annual Report on the Federal Workforce: http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/reports/fsp2008/index.html
Youth@Work Initiative: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/initiatives/youth/index.cfm
LEAD Initiative: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/initiatives/lead/index.cfm
The EEOC’s FY 2010 Performance and Accountability Report is a collaborative endeavor on the part of many EEOC employees and contractors. We would like to acknowledge and thank them for their hard work and commitment in successfully preparing this report and in supporting the audit of the financial statements.
Thank you for your interest in the EEOC’s FY 2010 Performance and Accountability Report. We welcome your comments on how we can make this report more informative for our readers. Please send your comments to:
Office of the Executive Secretariat
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
131 M Street, NE
Washington, DC 20507-0001
TTY (202) 663-4494