The Biden administration has been talked about as being potentially the most pro-labor administration in decades. Although he has already taken pro-worker action, more needs to be done.
The Nation contributor Bryce Covert discussed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which spawned from the Civil Rights Act and how President Biden can repair it after four years of anti-labor leadership on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
What happened with the EEOC?
The EEOC was established to address civil rights violations in the workplace. It is billed as a government operation, but runs fairly independently. Under Trump, the EEOC essentially took orders from the Chamber of Commerce, according to Covert.
She said Trump’s appointee to head the EEOC essentially worked to bog down resolutions and drag them out for as long as possible. His appointee even went as far as pausing cases that argued employers can’t discriminate against employees based on their sexual orientation.
EEOC pilot programs
Covert explained how the head of the EEOC has the power to establish pilot programs, which are usually brought up with plenty of group input and consideration. She said Trump’s appointee brought these programs with little to no input and would announce them on Friday afternoons before holiday weekends.
Two major programs implemented in the previous four years were designed to slow down litigation. Slowing down litigation discourages employees to come forward and gives employers less to worry about, possibly allowing them to take part in questionable behavior.
The second program looked to mediate cases before digging through details. While this is acceptable in select cases, it is not productive in many.
Finally, Covert said the EEOC was badly understaffed. While some employees quit due to being fed up with how the agency was being run, others retired or moved on for other reasons. The big problem was that these people were not being replaced.