Exclusive: Lawmakers Will Begin the Process Today to Rescind a Trump-Era EEOC Rule

On Tuesday, Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) And Representative Bobby Scott (D-Va.) Will take a crucial step in reversing a regulation enacted by the Trump administration that has made it significantly more difficult for workers to ensure justice when they do so are discriminated against at work, The nation have learned. It is the first application of the Congressional Review Act to reverse the Trump-era rules and regulations.

Murray and Scott are set to impose a rule-change opposition resolution at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the country’s only vigilante enforced by former Trump-appointed Chairman Janet Dhillon. This is the beginning of the CRA process to reverse the Trump-era rule. If this is successful, it will also prevent future administrations from implementing similar rules in the agency.

After Dhillon was confirmed as EEOC Chair in 2019, she took a series of unilateral actions reported by sources inside and outside the EEOC The nation, brought almost all the corridors of justice in the agency to a standstill. One of the most damaging, they said, has been changes she made to the mediation process, a procedure the agency must put in place to reach an agreement once it believes discrimination has likely occurred before taking employers to court.

As part of a pilot program that Dhillon unilaterally implemented nationwide last year, EEOC investigators had to give employers virtually all of the information that they could use to determine the employer had broken the law, including its case theory, anything that “doubts and all potentially exculpatory evidence, far more than is required in civil cases. It also set upper limits on how much money EEOC investigators could seek on behalf of victims, above which they had to go through the arduous and lengthy process of obtaining approval from higher authorities. This was an incentive for investigators to ask employers for lesser amounts.

As Diane King, an employment law attorney at King & Greisen in Denver who has gone through the mediation process many times, previously said The nationThe mediation pilot was “just a colossal failure,” which made it difficult for her to reach an agreement on behalf of a client who had worked for a water company and had suffered so much sexual harassment that she broke down. This customer was still unable to work and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in income.

Dhillon then moved to make permanent changes to the placement process late last year. First, it took in any changes to the pilot program and moved on. She suggested that investigators disclose the names of anonymous witnesses who came forward to support a case, which may have put their jobs and livelihoods at risk. This requirement was removed at the last minute in the negotiations, but investigators were still required to provide employers with a written summary of the facts that led them to believe that discrimination had occurred, the legal basis for this finding, and an explanation of the nature and size of the case to slow down the whole process. Then EEOC Commissioner and current Chair, Charlotte Burrows, said at the time that Dhillon’s permanent rule would “lead to expensive and unnecessary litigation” and “divert limited, valuable resources from fighting discrimination”.


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