For the first time since her appointment by President Trump as acting chair of the EEOC, Victoria Lipnic last week provided a glimpse into the commission’s future. Her central message is not to expect to see any major changes in the near future. Acting Chair Lipnic occupies only one of a total of five commission seats at the EEOC. However, there are only four sitting commissioners, as one of the seats is currently vacant. Potential major policy shifts likely will have to wait for other Trump appointees to join the Commission.
However, Lipnic did note that the Trump administration has highlighted job growth as a priority, and that goal is something the EEOC should be cognizant of while it remains committed to its core mission of enforcing the workplace discrimination laws. This includes a continued commitment to the pursuit of high-profile, systemic discrimination issues, with the cautionary note that the EEOC needs to be “strategic” about pursuing these matters given its limited resources.
As for the controversial regulations surrounding the annual EEO-1 reports, requiring large employers (100 or more employees) to provide much more detailed information, Lipnic said that while that regulation falls “squarely under” President Trump’s directive to all agencies to rethink the regulations they have on the books, she was the only current commissioner to vote against the regulation.
It appears that major change at the EEOC – if any – will have to wait until further down the road.