After months of relative inaction in the 111th Congress in the run-up to last November’s elections, the busy end-of-year “lame duck” session saw Senate confirmation of President Obama’s appointments to the EEOC.
Before leaving town for the holidays, the Senate confirmed EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien, Commissioners Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic and General Counsel P. David Lopez.
All four had been serving by virtue of recess appointments since April 2010. Had they not been confirmed, their terms would have expired with the end of the congressional session. The move means that the commission is operating at full capacity with all five commissioners serving full terms.
No more than three of the commissioners may be from the same political party, and their terms are staggered. The new commissioners join Stuart Ishimaru and Constance Barker on the EEOC. Both are Republicans appointed by President George W. Bush.
Note: Employers can expect the EEOC to pursue its mission in earnest now that all commissioners are serving full terms. The commission has targeted the use of credit reports in hiring and the recession’s impact on older workers as two key initiatives for 2011.