• Mike McLeod

The EEOC’s Betrayal of the Trust and Faith of the American Worker

The EEOC recently declared that its judges are mere attorneys who are not  required to follow any code of judicial ethics.

Several decisions by EEOC “judges”  have come to light in recent months that reflect gross errors and shocking omissions, ignore settled law, show improper bias, etc.

These EEOC “judges” are not being held accountable by  the EEOC Commissioners – Victoria A. Lipnic (R), Chai R.  Feldblum (D) and Charlotte A. Burrows(D). Therefore, one must conclude the EEOC “judges” are doing  what Lipnic, Feldblum and Burrows want them to do.

There is a reason why every state and U.S. District Court judge must follow a code of judicial ethics. These codes are designed to insure to fairness, impartiality and high standards in decision-making. Apparently the current EEOC Commissioners don’t want  EEOC ‘judges” who decide federal sector discrimination complaints to  provide equal justice to all – especially victims of age discrimination.

The Commissioners refusal to require basic fairness,  impartiality and equal justice is a terrible betrayal of the trust and faith of American workers.

The U.S. Congress, on behalf of the people,  entrusted the EEOC with the awesome responsibility of enforcing our nation’s civil rights laws.  As we celebrate Labor Day, it is clear the EEOC’s mission is more important than ever. Yet the EEOC Commissioners have failed to demand even competence in the most basic function of the EEOC – to decide federal sector age discrimination complaints.

In the past, courageous EEOC Commissioners stood up to power and fought for American workers.  The trio of women who sit on the EEOC commission today appear to be content to  advocate for pet projects and avoid ruffling feathers.

This blog has been a consistent critic of the EEOC for failing to vigorously enforce the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and for serving as a lackey to big business by emphasizing mediation and education rather than prosecuting offenders. These are policy issues; Good people can disagree. However, there is no room for disagreement with respect to whether EEOC “judges” should act with competence, fairness and impartiality. This should go without saying.

Last week, Carlton M. Hadden, the director of the EEOC Office of Federal Operations (OFO),upheld,  for at least the second time, the Pathways “Recent Graduates” Program. This program was created by President Barack Obama in 2010 to allow age discrimination in federal  hiring.  Hadden ruled the EEOC “doesn’t have jurisdiction over the legality of a program created by Executive Order.” See Neary v. Pon, EEOC Appeal No. 0120181475. So far, the Pathways program has barred older workers from applying for  100,000 federal jobs – and counting.

Michael R. McLeod