Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On October 14, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – a federal government agency that advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting emp­loyment discrimination – announced that Jocelyn Samuels was sworn in as a Commissioner of the EEOC.

“I am committed to advancing the rights of all Americans, regardless of their race, gender, or other protected characteristics. It is an incredible honor to apply these principles to the critical work of the EEOC to remove barriers to employment and foster inclusive and diverse workplaces,” Samuels stated in a press release.

Samuels was nominated by President Trump on March 16, 2020, and was confirmed on September 23, 2020, to serve as Commissioner for a term expiring July 1, 2021. She joins Chair Janet Dhillon, Vice Chair Keith Sonderling, and Commissioner Charlotte Burrows on the presidentially appointed bipartisan Commission.

From 2017 to 2020, Samuels was Executive Director of the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. Prior to that, she was the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and served as Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Earlier in her career, she worked as a senior policy attorney at the EEOC, as Labor Counsel to Senator Ted Kennedy, and as the Vice President for Education & Employment at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of Middlebury College and Columbia University Law School.

“I am delighted to welcome Jocelyn Samuels to the EEOC. Her broad experience in government and in Congress will make her a valued partner as we move to remedy and prevent discrimination in our nation’s workplaces,” Janet Dhillon, EEOC Chair, stated in the press release.

The EEOC is a bipartisan Commission comprised of five presidentially appointed members: Chair, Vice Chair, and three Commissioners. The Chair is responsible for administration and financial management while the Vice Chair and Commissioners develop and approve policies, issue charges of discrimination, and authorize filing of suits.

Founded in 1965, the EEOC enforces several laws including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to email updates. To learn more about the EEOC, visit www.eeoc.gov.

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