EEOC Diversity Luncheon: Discussions of Budget Hurdles and Enforcement Priorities with Hon. Jacqueline Berrien and Hon. Victoria Lipnic

by Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC
Contact

When the Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Jacqueline A. Berrien, and EEOC Commissioner Victoria A. Lipnic sat down for an informal conversation regarding workplace diversity during the Diversity Luncheon at the National Conference on Equal Employment Opportunity Law, the dialogue quickly moved to the possible effects of budget cuts on diversity in the public workplace.

Berrien expressed her pride in last year's Legal Times headline, which declared "EEOC, Practicing What it Preaches, Employs Most Diverse Federal Legal Workforce." According to that article, 61 percent of the EEOC's 497 attorneys are white, while 23 percent are black or African American, 8 percent are Hispanic or Latino, and 6 percent are Asian. The EEOC also employs the highest percentage of lawyers with disabilities in the federal government--2.4 percent. However, Berrien said that the "EEOC is not going to rest on its laurels." Instead, the agency will continue its efforts to employ a diverse workforce.
But Berrien cautioned that she had a "deep concern about budget cuts, vacancies, and unaddressed attrition" detracting from the EEOC's efforts to maintain a diverse workforce. Because the public sector has historically provided more work opportunities for women and people of color than the private sector, Berrien was concerned that major budget reductions could adversely affect diversity in the public workplace.
Regarding gender diversity in the workplace, Lipnic said that "there is a lot more work to be done," as she discussed the "strange" fact that only 15 percent of equity partners in private law firms are women as compared to the much higher percentage of entry level female associates. Lipnic said that in the current economy, "getting a job" is the first barrier that women face on the road to reaching the higher rungs of the legal profession. But Lipnic also acknowledged that caregivers, who are often women, tend to face additional barriers as they scale the rungs of the profession. Additionally, gender based pay disparity continues to plague the nation.
"This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Equal Pay Act," said Berrien, "and although we have come a long way, gender-based pay disparity continues to exist." Berrien and Lipnic echoed the EEOC's plan to recommit itself to ensuring that the promise of the Equal Pay Act is realized by prioritizing the EEOC's attention on issues regarding pay disparity.
Indeed, in the Strategic Enforcement Plan (FY 2013-2016), which established national enforcement priorities, the EEOC prioritized the enforcement of equal pay laws, and committed to enhanced enforcement of equal pay laws to eliminate compensation systems and practices that discriminate based on gender. In the Plan, the EEOC also avowed to target harassment against "vulnerable workers," such as migrant workers; disability discrimination fueled by "myths, fears, and stereotypes;" and pregnancy discrimination.
However, Lipnic warned that the EEOC's attention to any particular aspect of employment discrimination does not mean that it will ignore other issues that may arise during the course of its investigations. "In every sense of the word, the EEOC does not address issues with tunnel vision," said Berrien. "The EEOC will pursue every allegation of wrongdoing equally."

For more information, please contact:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC
Contact
more
less

Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.