Former EEOC Republican Chairman Dhillon resigns from commission (1)

Janet Dhillon, a member of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, resigned from her post, marking the end of her three-year term on the panel.

Dhillon – who chaired the EEOC during the Trump administration – told President Joe Biden his last day in office would be November 18. In her resignation letter, she highlighted her work to improve the commission’s transparency and increase recoveries for victims of discrimination.

Dhillon’s term expired in July, but she was able to keep her seat because Biden’s nominee for the job, civil rights lawyer Kalpana Kotagal, has yet to be confirmed by the Senate. In the absence of a Senate-confirmed replacement, Dhillon could have kept his seat until the end of the year.

The EEOC has a Democratic presidency but a 3-2 Republican majority. Once Dhillon leaves, the commission will have a 2-2 even partisan split, meaning the panel will remain in its current state of stalemate until the Biden administration can fill its seat with a Democrat.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee deadlocked on Kotagal in May, meaning an additional procedural vote is needed before the full Senate can consider his appointment. Democrats are poised to retain control of the Senate, but if Kotagal is not confirmed by the end of the year, she will have to be renamed.

Throughout his tenure, Dhillon has prioritized compliance assistance for employers and the conciliation program promoted by the agency. She also led the agency through most of the Covid-19 pandemic, which presented new and complex workplace discrimination issues.

Prior to joining the EEOC in May 2019, Dhillon served as General Counsel for Burlington Stores Inc. and before JC Penney Co. Inc. She began her legal career at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Dhillon declined to comment Monday on the stance she will take when she leaves office.

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