WASHINGTON, D.C., March 24, 2015 – Lawyers’ Committee Public Policy Director Tanya Clay House testified before the Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections regarding new legislation that would undermine the ability of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and of our nation’s civil rights laws to strive for the creation of fair and equitable employment opportunities. Clay House strongly urged the Subcommittee to reject H.R. 548, “Certainty in Enforcement Act of 2015”; H.R. 549, “Litigation Oversight Act of 2015”; H.R. 550, “EEOC Transparency and Accountability Act”; and H.R. 1189, “Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act.”
For over 50 years, the Lawyers’ Committee has advanced racial equality in the areas of community development, criminal justice, educational opportunities, fair employment and business opportunities, fair housing and fair lending, immigrant rights, judicial diversity and voting rights. As a national leader in combating employment discrimination, the Lawyers’ Committee has undertaken numerous initiatives, including the Access Campaign, a program designed to examine and dismantle barriers to gainful employment for persons with arrest and conviction records and negative credit histories through litigation, public education, federal, state and local legislative advocacy.
As noted in Clay House’s testimony, co-drafted by Lawyers’ Committee Employment Discrimination Project Director Ray McClain, these bills, particularly H.R. 548, would undermine the protections that Title VII provides for persons of color, and would limit the scope of the EEOC. The enforcement of our nation’s civil rights laws, particularly those in the employment context, is of paramount importance the Lawyers’ Committee and the broader civil rights community. The EEOC plays a critical role in this process and should be afforded the proper authority and respect to fulfill the responsibilities and obligations originally delineated by Congress in 1963. The evidence presented in this testimony and by others in the broader civil rights community, highlights the continued need and importance of a strong and robust EEOC for the protection of all American workers, a need that would be undercut if these bills were to move forward.
To read the full testimony, click here.