Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP Will the EEOC lose its quorum?

Victoria Lipnic (R) has announced that she will not seek a third term as a Commissioner for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her second term will expire July 1.

According to Bloomberg Law (not a political endorsement!), Commissioner Lipnic hasn't ruled out staying on through the end of 2020 so that the EEOC will not lose its quorum. She can stay in her position 60 days after July 1 if President Trump does not nominate a successor, or until the end of the Congressional session if he does.

Without Ms. Lipnic, the only other EEOC Commissioners would be Chair Janet Dhillon (R), a Trump appointee, and Charlotte Burrows (D), an Obama appointee. Two Commissioner slots are currently vacant, and there will be three vacancies when Ms. Lipnic leaves.

Ms. Lipnic was originally appointed to the EEOC by President Obama in 2010. As the only Republican Commissioner at the time, she was named Acting Chair of the EEOC, succeeding Democrat Jenny Yang, after President Trump took office. Once Ms. Dhillon took office as Chair in May 2019, Ms. Lipnic became a Commissioner again.

Ms. Lipnic worked with former Commissioner Chai Feldblum (D) in leading a sexual harassment task force, and she is believed to have been instrumental in creating proposed guidance on workplace harassment that was issued shortly before President Obama left office. The proposed guidance never became final. She has been an advocate for the position that Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Image Credit: Official U.S. Government photo.