U.S. Senate Confirms Three EEOC Commissioners

This week, the United States Senate confirmed the nominations of three commissioners for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Republican nominees Keith Songerling and Andrea Lucas were confirmed September 22 and Jocelyn Samuels was confirmed a day later.

  • Songerling was nominated in July 2019 but the nomination expired at the end of the year, with no confirmation vote. He was renominated in March and confirmed with a vote of 52-41. Songerling works as a deputy administrator of the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. His term expires July 1, 2025.
  • Andrea Lucas, a management-side attorney, was nominated in March 2020 and was confirmed by a vote of 49-44.
  • Jocelyn Samuels, a civil rights lawyer, was voted in 54-42 and her term expires July 1, 2021.

From HR Dive:

Legal experts previously said the workplace civil rights agency had continued the enforcement stance it took under the Obama administration. In a Dec. 30 report, law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP noted that the Commission “continued ​to pursue aggressive litigation and close out settlements at high rates” in 2019, despite some setbacks. The also firm noted that, in spite of the loss of quorum and a political shutdown, there were several notable developments in EEOC-initiated litigation last year, including LGBT bias reaching the U.S. Supreme Court; limits set on the EEOC’s ability to regulate employers’ use of arrest and conviction records; and pay data collection.

Early this year, the federal agency said it intended to focus on “robust” compliance assistance and excellent customer service in 2020 at the direction of newly installed chair, Dhillon. The agency said its focus on compliance assistance would include outreach to the private, public and federal sectors, especially the small business community; strong partnerships with employer and advocacy groups; and updated guidance documents. A focus on compliance assistance over enforcement is standard for federal agencies under Republican administrations, sources previously told HR Dive.

These confirmations end Commissioner Victor Lipnic’s tender and the commission is now fully staffed.