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EEOC faces changes in makeup, process with Trump election

Posted On: Nov. 11, 2016 9:23 AM CST

CHICAGO — The election of Donald J. Trump as U.S. president will certainly change the political makeup of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s leadership and will likely lead to a change in the number of cases that are reviewed at the highest level of the EEOC, said a member of the commission.

Victoria A. Lipnic, a Republican member of the EEOC, said changes in the composition of the leadership of the EEOC will take place soon after President-elect Trump’s inauguration in January.

The EEOC is composed of five members, who are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Currently, three members are Democrats, including EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang, and two are Republican. Mr. Trump will likely appoint a new chair or interim chair on taking office and will soon after change the composition of the EEOC to introduce a Republican majority, Ms. Lipnic said during a session of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society’s annual conference in Chicago on Thursday.

The changes at the commission will likely lead to an increase in the number of cases that the commissioners review before they are filed, rather than delegate that responsibility to the EEOC general counsel and EEOC district offices, she said.

“The delegation to the general counsel of filing cases in the first instance in federal district court is something that I have been concerned about in my tenure as a commissioner at the EEOC,” Ms. Lipnic said.

The commissioners should review more cases themselves, she said.

“I would expect — whoever becomes the new chair of the EEOC — that this issue in terms of governance and what cases get filed and how they are reviewed in the first instance by members of the commission … will be something certainly that I think will be addressed by the next chair of the EEOC,” Ms. Lipnic said.