The U.S. Senate has confirmed Jenny Yang to serve in the post of Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency that enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Her term will expire on July 1, 2017. A ‘Senate Floor Wrap Up’ for Thursday, April 25, 2013, the date of confirmation, is available at http://democrats.senate.gov/2013/04/25/senate-floor-wrap-up-for-thursday-april-25-2013/.
Ms. Yang, a Democrat, fills the position left vacant by Stuart Ishimaru, who resigned from the EEOC to join the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). She joins Chair Jacqueline Berrien (Democrat), Constance S. Barker (Republican), Chai Feldblum (Democrat), and Victoria A. Lipnic (Republican) as Commissioners of the EEOC.
President Barack Obama had announced his intent to nominate Ms. Yang as EEOC Commissioner in August 2012. The White House press release for the announcement is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/02/president-obama-announces-more-key-administration-posts.
According to the White House press release, Ms. Yang is a partner at the law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, where she has worked in the Civil Rights and Employment Practice Group since 2003. Previously, Ms. Yang served in the Employment Litigation Section in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1998 to 2003, first as a trial attorney, and then as a senior trial attorney. From 1997 to 1998, she was a New York University Community Service Fund attorney fellow at the National Employment Law Project (NELP), and served as a judicial law clerk for Judge Edmund V. Ludwig of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 1996 to 1997. Ms. Yang is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center and a former Co-Chair of the National Governing Board for the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. She received a B.A. in Government from Cornell University and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.
On April 25, 2012 – exactly one year before Ms. Yang’s confirmation – the EEOC voted to approve updated Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The updated Guidance builds on longstanding court decisions and Guidance documents that the EEOC has issued over the years and focuses on employment discrimination based on race and national origin. To read the full text of the updated EEOC Guidance, visit http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/guidance/arrest_conviction.cfm.
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