May 09, 2019

Van Hollen Statement on Confirmation of Janet Dhillon

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding the nomination of Janet Dhillon to chair the EEOC:

"I opposed the confirmation of Janet Dhillon to chair the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC is an independent federal agency with an absolutely vital mission: Enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. But Ms. Dhillon has spent her career protecting corporations that are accused of discrimination by their workers.

As a leader of the Retail Litigation Center, she advocated legal positions designed to undermine workplace protections, especially low-income women and women of color.

The Retail Litigation Center helped defend Walmart against wage discrimination claims filed by 1.6 million women who worked at Walmart. In doing so, they managed to convince the Supreme Court to raise the legal barriers for all workers to bring discrimination claims.

In a different case – this one involving racial harassment against an African-American woman – the Retail Litigation Center convinced the Supreme Court to narrow the legal definition of a supervisor. This means that workers are now less able to hold their employers accountable for workplace harassment.

Both of these were 5-4 decisions that were supported by only the Republican justices on the Supreme Court.

All workers need an EEOC that is looking out for them. But Ms. Dhillon’s nomination to chair the EEOC is yet another way that the Trump Administration keeps rigging the system for their corporate allies and stacking the deck against working people."