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Former DOL Official Lipnic Nominated to the EEOC

By Bill Leonard  11/6/2009
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Victoria A. Lipnic

President Barack Obama has nominated Victoria A. Lipnic, a former U.S. Labor Department official, to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The nomination was submitted to the U.S. Senate on Nov. 3, 2009.

Lipnic is an attorney in the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm Seyfarth Shaw. She served as assistant secretary of labor for employment standards from 2002 until January 2009, during the administration of President George W. Bush. Prior to working with the Labor Department, Lipnic was a workforce policy counsel for the Republican members of the House Education and Labor Committee. She served as a special assistant to Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige during the Reagan administration.

Lipnic is the third person nominated by President Obama to be a member of the EEOC. In July 2009, the president nominated Jacqueline A. Berrien, associate director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, to serve as the EEOC Chair. Two months later, the president named Chai R. Feldblum, a professor of law and a director of the Federal Legislation Clinic at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., as a nominee.

As a Republican, Lipnic’s confirmation to the EEOC would fulfill the requirement that at least two of the agency’s five commissioners do not belong to the president’s political party. Constance Barker, whose term as an EEOC commissioner expires in 2011, is the other Republican member.

In late July 2009, the Senate confirmed acting EEOC Vice Chair Christine Griffin as deputy director of the Office of Personnel Management, but according to the rules governing the EEOC, Griffin has remained a commissioner until the Senate confirms her successor.

Bill Leonard is senior writer for SHRM.

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