On Sept. 17, the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing to examine H.R. 4959, “EEOC Transparency and Accountability Act,” H.R. 5422, “Litigation Oversight Act of 2014,” and H.R. 5423, “Certainty in Enforcement Act of 2014.”

The media advisory sent out by the Subcommittee stated:

“The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. At a recent oversight hearing, witnesses shared growing concerns with various EEOC regulatory and enforcement actions. For example, ‘guidance’ finalized in 2012 limits employers’ use of criminal background checks during the hiring process. The subcommittee also examined EEOC’s increasing reliance on systemic discrimination cases and the commission’s delegation of its litigation authority to the Office of General Counsel. In response to these concerns, a number of legislative proposals have been introduced:

  • H.R. 4959, introduced by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), would increase EEOC transparency by, among other provisions, requiring the commission to post on its website and in its annual report any case in which the commission was required to pay court sanctioned fees or costs.
  • H.R. 5422, introduced by Rep. Walberg, would require EEOC commissioners to approve by majority vote all EEOC-initiated litigation involving multiple plaintiffs or allegations of systemic discrimination.
  • H.R. 5423, also introduced by Rep. Walberg, would provide a safe harbor to employers complying with federal or state mandates, such as a law requiring criminal background checks.

Wednesday’s hearing will provide members the opportunity to examine these proposals and ongoing concerns over EEOC’s regulatory and enforcement practices.”

The Witness List for the hearing included:

Ms. Lynn A. Clements – Director, Regulatory Affairs, Berkshire Associates, Inc. (Columbia, MD)

Mr. William F. Lloyd – General Counsel, Deloitte LLP (New York, NY)

Mr. Michael L. Foreman – Director, Civil Rights Appellate Clinic, The Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law (State College, PA)

Mr. Eric S. Dreiband – Partner, Jones Day (Washington, D.C.)

The opening statement by Subcommittee Chair Tim Walberg (R-MI) can be found here.

The archived webcast of the hearing can be found here.