New Acting EEOC Commissioner to Make Age Discrimination a Priority

Victoria Lipnic, tlipniche new acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has indicated the agency under her leadership will focus more on the problem of age discrimination in employment.

According to Corporate Counsel, Lipnic said age discrimination and equal pay will be her priorities.

During an employment law presentation at the Chicago offices of her former employer, the law firm Seyfarth Shaw, Lipnic noted that 2017 marks  the 50th anniversary of Age Discrimination in Employment Act. “[W]e will be doing a number of things related to that. It should get a high-profile this year,” she said.

The EEOC virtually ignored a major increase in age discrimination complaints during and since the recession. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama sent a signal to the private sector that age discrimination would be overlooked when he signed an executive order in 2010 permitting age discrimination in federal hiring. Last year, the EEOC  received 20,857 age discrimination complaints but filed only two lawsuits with age discrimination claims.

President Donald Trump selected Lipnic, a former Assistant Secretary of Labor, as the acting chair of the EEOC on Jan. 25, replacing Democrat Jenny R. Lang.  Lipnic joined the EEOC in 2010 via a recess appointment made by President Obama. She is currently the only GOP on the four-member commission.

She said the Trump administration has been very clear that it is interested in job growth and this attitude will influence the agency’s priorities in the future.

In private practice, Lipnic specialized in management-side labor and employment law.

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