Last night, the Senate agreed on the appointment of Chai Feldblum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Ms. Feldblum was nominated by the President on September 14, 2009. After her nomination was held up in the Senate for well over 6 months, the President appointed Ms. Feldblum during a Congressional recess on March 27, 2010. As a recess appointee, Ms. Feldblum’s appointment would have expired at the end of 2011; with last night’s vote, her appointment will last through July 2013.
Ms. Feldblum’s appointment is critical to addressing fair workplaces. The EEOC investigates discrimination complaints and retaliation for reporting and/or opposing a discriminatory practice. It is empowered to file discrimination suits against employers on behalf of alleged victims and to adjudicate claims of discrimination brought against federal agencies.
In addition, Ms. Feldblum is exceptionally well qualified to serve as a commissioner on the EEOC. She is a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and is the director of the Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic. Ms. Feldblum has been a leader in the areas of disability rights, health care and LGBT policy. She is an expert on workplace policies and laws, and was a key drafter of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
As an openly lesbian woman, Ms. Feldblum adds to the ever growing list of openly LGBT appointees in the Obama Administration. For more information on openly LGBT appointments, please visit the Presidential Appointment Project at http://www.victoryinstitute.org/presidential.