Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Senate Report Criticizes EEOC

On Monday, the current Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (and chairman in the next Congress) Lamar Alexander issued a report critical of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) litigation tactics and management. Among other concerns, the report found that:
Today’s EEOC . . . is pursuing many questionable cases through sometimes overly aggressive means—and, as a result, has suffered significant court losses that are embarrassing to the agency and costly to taxpayers. Courts have found EEOC’s litigation tactics to be so egregious they have ordered EEOC to pay defendants’ attorney’s fees in ten cases since 2011. The courts have criticized EEOC for misuse of its authority, poor expert analysis, and pursuit of novel cases unsupported by law. 

According to news reports (e.g., Wall Street Journal, Washington Times) the report and the issues it chronicles may have an impact on the likely upcoming reconfirmation vote in the Senate on EEOC General Counsel P. David Lopez.

It seems unlikely that this debate will alter the EEOC’s enforcement agenda and litigation tactics in the short-term. However, it will be interesting to see if this report and related debate will shift the agency’s more aggressive tactics in the future.

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