President Appoints New EEOC Leadership

President Barak Obama recently announced his choices to head up the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), essentially promoting two current Commissioners to leadership posts at the federal agency. Stuart J. Ishimaru was appointed as Acting Chairman of the EEOC and Christine M. Griffin as Acting Vice Chair.

Ishimaru’s term will expire on July 1, 2012. He has been a Commissioner since November 2003.

During his tenure, according to the EEOC press release, “Ishimaru has primarily focused on large, systemic cases and in reinvigorating the agency’s work on race discrimination issues. He also played an instrumental role in the EEOC’s adoption of groundbreaking guidance on gender discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities.”

Ishimaru has spent virtually his entire career in civil rights, spending time in the Civil Rights division of the US Justice Department, Acting Staff Director of the US Commission on Civil Rights, and on the professional staffs of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights and two House Armed Services Subcommittees of the US Congress.
Christine M. Griffin has served in the commission since 2006, working as an advocate for women’s rights, rights of people with disabilities, and diversity in the federal workplace, among other issues. Prior to serving as commissioner, she had worked as legal counsel to the EEOC, and also ran Boston’s Disability Law Center.

The EEOC has five commissioners and a General Counsel appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Commissioners are appointed for five-year, staggered terms. The President designates a Chair and a Vice Chair. The Chair is the chief executive officer of the Commission. One commissioner seat is currently vacant, and there is no information forthcoming at this point about when or if that seat will be filled.

Ishimaru succeeds Naomi C. Earp, whose term as a Commissioner expires on July 1, 2010. The fourth current commissioner is Constance S. Barker.

Although no particular Commissioner can probably impact your individual rights, the lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP are always available to answer your Georgia employment law questions.