This week, President Trump announced that he would nominate Daniel Gade for the last open seat on the five-member U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Who serves on the Commission matters to employers because the Commission issues regulations and guidance interpreting and implementing the nation’s anti-discrimination laws and files lawsuits to advance its favored legal theories.
Gade is an Army veteran; he lost his right leg in an explosion while serving in the second Iraq War and was decorated for valor with two purple hearts. He has a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Policy from the University of Georgia, and he recently retired from teaching at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Previously, Gade served in the George W. Bush administration, working on policy issues relating to veterans, military healthcare, and disabilities. Gade is an advocate for getting disabled veterans into the workforce.
Gade is President Trump’s second nomination for the EEOC. Earlier this summer, the President picked Janet Dhillon to fill another vacancy on the EEOC and to serve as the agency’s chair. Dhillon most recently worked as general counsel of Burlington Stores, Inc.; previously, she was general counsel at J.C. Penny Co. Inc. and at US Airways Group Inc.
Once Dhillon and Gade are confirmed by the Senate, the EEOC will be comprised of three Republican members and two Democratic members. Meanwhile, the EEOC general counsel position remains vacant; it is expected that President Trump will name his choice for that position soon.
Under new leadership, the federal agency is expected to adopt a more employer-friendly posture and to file less lawsuits than it did under the administration of President Obama. As a practical matter, this means that the agency may roll back recent changes to the EEO-1 report, which starting early next year will require employers to report detailed wage information broken down by workers’ sex and race. Other changes in how federal anti-discrimination laws are interpreted and enforced may also be on the way.