President Appoints Jenny R. Yang EEOC Vice Chair via EEOC.gov

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that President Barack Obama has appointed Commissioner Jenny R. Yang as Vice Chair of the EEOC.  Yang, whose term expires July 1, 2017, was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 2013.

“Over the course of my career and particularly during my time at the Commission, I have seen how vital the work of the EEOC is to the enforcement of our civil rights laws,” Vice Chair Yang said. “I am honored to serve as Vice Chair of the Commission to continue to work with the Chair, my fellow Commissioners, and the dedicated staff to advance the EEOC’s critical mission to ensure equal opportunity in our nation’s workplaces.”

EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien said, “I congratulate Commissioner Yang on her appointment.  She has contributed greatly to the work of the EEOC over the past year, and I look forward to even greater contributions through her service as Vice Chair.”

As a member of the Commission, Vice Chair Yang is leading a comprehensive review of the agency’s systemic program, which addresses issues of alleged discrimination that have broad impact on an industry, profession, company or geographic area.  This effort builds on her many years as a litigator and law firm manager.

Immediately prior to joining the EEOC, Yang was a partner of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC where she represented thousands of employees across the country in numerous complex civil rights and employment actions. Yang has also served as a senior trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section, where she enforced federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment by state and local government employers from 1998 to 2003.

Yang received her B.A. from Cornell University in government. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a note and comment editor of the law review and a Root-Tilden public interest scholar. Yang and her husband, Kil Huh, director of the States’ Fiscal Health Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, have two sons.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about Vice Chair Yang and the EEOC is available on its website at http://www.eeoc.gov.

Jenny Yang Sworn In as EEOC Commissioner

Jenny Yang Sworn In as EEOC Commissioner
Bipartisan Federal Agency Now at Full Strength

WASHINGTON — Jenny R. Yang was sworn in today as Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Yang was nominated by President Obama on Aug. 2, 2012, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on April 25, 2013, to serve a term expiring July 1, 2017.

With her arrival, the EEOC returns to its full complement of five commissioners. Yang joins Chair Jacqueline Berrien and Commissioners Constance Barker, Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic to complete the five-member presidentially appointed bipartisan Commission, filling the position vacated by Stuart Ishimaru.

“I am delighted to welcome Jenny Yang to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commis­sion,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien. “Her expertise in employment discrimination law and experi­ence as a litigator will be great assets to the agency, and I look forward to working with her and my other colleagues on the Commission to promote equal opportunity in the workplace.”

Yang was a partner of Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll PLLC. She joined the firm in 2003, and she has represented thousands of employees across the country in numerous complex civil rights and employment actions. As chair of the firm’s hiring and diversity committee, Yang has experience with the issues employers confront in making hiring and other personnel decisions.

Prior to joining Cohen Milstein, Yang served as a senior trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section, where she enforced federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment by state and local government employers from 1998 to 2003. Before that, she worked at the National Employment Law Project to enforce the workplace rights of garment workers. Yang clerked for the Honorable Edmund Ludwig on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

“It is an incredible honor to serve as a Commissioner of the EEOC,” said Commissioner Yang. “It is a privilege to work with so many talented and dedicated colleagues to ensure equal opportunity for all.”

Yang previously served for over five years as vice chair and board member of the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, a nonprofit organization that provides legal assistance to low-income Asian Pacific Americans and small business owners in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Yang received her B.A. from Cornell University in government. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a note and comment editor of the law review and a Root-Tilden public interest scholar. Yang and her husband, Kil Huh, director of the States’ Fiscal Health Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, have two sons.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its website at http://www.eeoc.gov

Jenny Yang Sworn In as EEOC Commissioner.

Mitsuwa Marketplace Violated Law by Paying Hispanic Workers Less Than Others for Identical Jobs, Federal Agency Charged

EEOC PRESS RELEASE 4-17-13

 

Edgewater Japanese Market to Pay $250,000 to Hispanic Employees Paid less Due to National Origin

NEWARK, N.J. — Mitsuwa Corporation, which does business as Mitsuwa Marketplace, a large Japanese market in Edgewater, N.J., will pay $250,000 to settle a national origin discrimination lawsuit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

According to the EEOC’s suit, since 2005, Mitsuwa has routinely paid Hispanic employees less than non-Hispanics doing the same work because of their national origin. The case stemmed from a discrimination charge from an individual employee who complained of being underpaid because he was Hispanic. An investigation by the EEOC revealed that a class of Hispanic employees was discriminated against in this way over several years.

Discrimination in compensation based on employees’ national origin violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark (Civil Action No. 09-CV-04733 [ES][CLW]) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

Under the consent decree settling the suit, signed by federal Judge Esther Salas, Mitsuwa will also give pay increases to current Hispanic employees amounting to a combined total of approximately $30,000 per year for three years.

Mitsuwa is enjoined from discriminating against Hispanic employees. The consent decree provides for a monitor who will periodically review Mitsuwa’s compensation practices and discrimination complaints, and will report to EEOC. Mitsuwa has also revised its anti-discrimination policies and will train its managers and employees on Title VII, including the prohibition against compensation discrimination based on national origin.

“Employers everywhere should know that Title VII insures that they cannot pay employees less based on their national origin, just as they cannot discriminate in compensation based on sex or race,” said EEOC District Director Kevin Berry.

“The EEOC stands ready to assist employees who are being undercompensated compared to similarly situated co-workers simply because of their national origin,” added New York Regional Attorney Elizabeth Grossman.

Eliminating discriminatory policies affecting vulnerable workers who may be unaware of their rights under equal employment laws, or who may be reluctant or unable to exercise their rights, is a national priority identified in EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan. These policies can include disparate pay.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available at its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

EEOC – African American Workgroup Report

Executive Summary From EEOC Report

In January 2010, Carlton Hadden, Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Office of Federal Operations (OFO), commissioned a work group to identify the obstacles that remain in the federal workplace that hinder equal employment opportunities for African Americans.

This workgroup was created in furtherance of the EEOC’s overall mission to eradicate discrimination in both the federal sector and private sector workplace. EEOC’s OFO ensures equality of opportunity within the federal sector by implementing its regulatory and adjudicatory authority and through use of its oversight function.

In advancement of the mission of the Commission and OFO’s oversight responsibilities, between 2010 and 2012, the African American workgroup engaged in a series of discussions with EEO officials, various affinity groups, and subject matter experts. The workgroup decided that it would be most efficient to hold these discussions in conjunction with a similar workgroup commissioned to identify obstacles for Women in the federal workplace.

In summation, the workgroup began the dialogue about obstacles facing African Americans by engaging in a roundtable discussion with federal EEO Directors, who are responsible for the implementation of a continuing affirmative employment program to promote equal employment opportunity and to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices and policies. Next, the workgroup engaged in roundtable dialogue with federal Special Emphasis Program Managers, who are tasked with assisting agencies in ensuring equal opportunity for specific protected classes that are underrepresented. Subsequently, the workgroup held roundtable discussions with various affinity groups, including Blacks in Government (BIG); Federally Employed Women (FEW); and the African American Federal Executives Association (AAFEA).

Additionally, the workgroup dialogued with non-federal interest and advocacy groups, including the Equal Justice Society, the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, Workplace Flexibility 2010, and the Equal Rights Center. Finally, we received input from academic expert Dr. Paula Caplan, who is the Voices of Diversity Project Director for the W.E.B. Dubois Institute at Harvard University and an author, noted research psychologist, and professor. We assured our dialogue partners that their contributions to this discussion would only be generally reported and not specifically attributed to any particular dialogue partner.

Our dialogue partners identified many obstacles to achieving equality for African Americans in the federal workforce, and provided recommendations for overcoming those obstacles. For the most part, the impediments identified below were independently and repeatedly identified by our dialogue partners as the most formidable obstacles to equal employment opportunities for African Americans in the federal sector. We note that while we are not issuing a traditional report with findings and conclusions of the EEOC, we are issuing this report to memorialize the obstacles and recommendations identified by our dialogue partners.

Read the full report at  African American Workgroup Report.