Your Wish Is My Command!

No sooner had the new Acting EEOC Chairwoman Victoria Lipnic said that she “wants a re-evaluation of the costs and benefits of the modified EEO-1 report, a detailed compliance survey that employers must fill out,” than poof!   A genie appeared with a magic lamp in the form of two US senators, Lamar Alexander and Pat Roberts, who have now asked the White House Office of Management and Budget to “scrap” this requirement (according to Law360).

“You have unlimited wishes!”


This is sort of a chicken and egg situation:  which of these parties came up with this initiative first?  The EEOC Chairwoman; the White House; or the Senators?

My guess is that it could be any or all of the three.

What’s Next?

Given this quick action on the new Chairwoman’s wishlist, it would be wise to inquire as to what else she is wishing for.

I said in an Above The Law article early this year that the Chairwoman has said that “she wants the commission to have an opportunity to see and vote on more litigation issues. … too many decisions on litigation have been delegated to the general counsel.”  Was this a problem?

She also “wondered” if the EEOC has been “overly committed to nationwide, systemic class actions,” and should be “more strategic” – prosecuting cases regionally rather than nationwide.  Was this also a problem, being “overly committed”?  What does this even mean?

Given these not so subtle clues and the new administration’s “anti-regulation” agenda it becomes apparent that there’s a subtext here.

With a reduced role for the GC of the EEOC (recall that the recently-departed GC, David Lopez, was a pretty active GC in bringing “nationwide, systemic class actions” – the new Chairwoman’s bete noir, and in pushing for LBGT rights), we can look forward (or backward?) to reduced enforcement of Title VII, the EPA and other Civil Rights laws – all in the name of “job creation.”  And little proactive enforcement.

And expect a consequent reduction in systemic and/or nationwide suits, and a rollback of EEOC initiatives and workplace rules and regs, again, all in the name of “job creation.”

Job Creation?


Chairwoman Lipnic declared early this year that “President Trump has made it very clear that he is interested in jobs, jobs, jobs,” and the EEOC, therefore, “will incorporate that attitude into its policies.”

Since the mandate and role of the EEOC is not job creation – and it has never been tasked with creating jobs, nor can it create jobs, what is she talking about?

She likely means reducing or abandoning the enforcement of Title VII and related statutes – which dovetails with the new anti-regulation agenda in DC.

And therefore eliminating the EEO-1 is likely just the first step – of many.


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Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]