EEOC public hearing to examine civil rights implications of COVID-19 in workplace

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold its first all virtual Commission hearing on Wednesday, April 28, at 9:30 a.m. (Central Time) to consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers, the difficulties faced by employers in navigating potential employment discrimination issues raised by COVID-19 and future challenges the pandemic may present for employees and employers.

The hearing will be held virtually, as a videoconference, via Zoom for Government and is open to the public, in accordance with the Sunshine Act. The public may observe the livestream or connect to the audio-only dial-in by following the instructions that will be posted on Closed captioning and ASL services will be available. It is anticipated the links and audio-only dial-in information to be posted on Monday, April 26 and no later than 24 hours prior to the hearing.

The Commission will hear testimony from a wide variety of experts on job discrimination and other barriers to employment during the ongoing health and economic crisis and how to help promote compliance with equal employment opportunity laws as employers and workers navigate unprecedented conditions. The Commission will hear from the following panelists during the hearing:

 Panel 1:                              

  • Heidi Shierholz, Senior Economist and Director of Policy, Economic Policy Institute
  • John Yang, President and Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
  • Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO, National Women’s Law Center               
  • Johnny C. Taylor, President and CEO, Society for Human Resources Management 
  • Mónica Ramírez, Founder/President, Justice for Migrant Women, Co-founder, The Latinx House, Poderistas & Alianza Nacional de Campesinas 
  • Damon Hewitt, Acting President and Executive Director/Executive Vice President of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Panel 2:

  • Eric Henson, Executive Vice President, Compass Lexecon, and Research Fellow, The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development    
  • Julie Hocker, former U.S. Commissioner on Disabilities                      
  • Brian East, Senior Attorney, Disability Rights Texas                                            
  • Michael Eastman, Senior Vice President, Policy and Assistant General Counsel, Center for Workplace Compliance                             
  • Laurie McCann, Senior Attorney, AARP Foundation
  • Amrith Kaur, Legal Director, Sikh Coalition                                                                           

The Commission agenda is subject to revision. A recording and transcript of the Commission hearing will be posted on after the hearing. For information about the hearing, please contact Christine Nazer, Acting Director of Communications, at 202-921-4191.

Members of the media are kindly asked to RSVP to before April 28.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

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