- President Donald Trump has nominated Janet Dhillon to chair of the EEOC, the White House announced yesterday. Currently, Victoria Lipnic is serving as acting chair. She would become a commissioner if Dhillon is confirmed.
- Dhillon currently works as EVP of general counsel and corporate secretary at Burlington Stores, Inc. She previously worked as EVP of general counsel for JC Penney, pointing to her extensive experience on the business side.
- The five-member commission currently has one vacancy that has been open since January. Commissioner Jenny Yang's term is set to expire July 1, but Bloomberg BNA reports that she may exercise her right to stay on 60 days after her term formally expires.
After Victoria Lipnic was chosen as acting chair of the EEOC, many watchers assumed she would simply ascend to the post once Trump was ready to make final nominations. She has extensive experience on the board and in the DOL and is also a Republican commissioner, originally nominated by then-President Barack Obama in 2010.
Dhillon has extensive experience as business general counsel, which may signal that Trump wanted a more "business-friendly" voice on the commission. Lipnic's nomination was met with general approval by both sides of the aisle. It's unlikely Dhillon will receive the same support from employee-centered groups.
The EEOC is tasked with enforcing a wide array of civil rights measures in American workplaces, including the 97,443 accounts of alleged workplace discrimination filed in 2016. It's an important part of the government for HR observers to focus on given recent challenges to employee rights in some states.