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Republican Former EEOC Chair Dhillon Resigns From Commission (1)

Nov. 14, 2022, 4:01 PMUpdated: Nov. 14, 2022, 5:20 PM

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission member Janet Dhillon has resigned from her post, marking an end to her three-year tenure on the panel.

Dhillon—who chaired the EEOC during the Trump administration—told President Joe Biden that her last day in office will be Nov. 18. In her resignation letter, she highlighted her work to improve transparency in the commission and increase recoveries to victims of discrimination.

Dhillon’s term expired in July but she has been able to keep her seat because Biden’s nominee to fill the post, civil rights attorney Kalpana Kotagal, hasn’t yet been confirmed by the Senate. Absent a Senate-confirmed replacement, Dhillon could have held on to her seat until the end of the year.

The EEOC has a Democratic chair but a 3-2 Republican majority. Once Dhillon is gone, the commission will have an even 2-2 partisan split, meaning the panel will remain in its current state of gridlock until the Biden administration can fill her seat with a Democrat.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee deadlocked on Kotagal in May, meaning an extra procedural vote is required before the full Senate can consider her nomination. Democrats are poised to maintain control of the Senate, but if Kotagal isn’t confirmed by the end of the year she will have to be renominated.

Throughout her tenure, Dhillon has prioritized compliance assistance for employers and the agency’s promoted conciliation program. She also led the agency during most of the Covid-19 pandemic, which presented novel and complex workplace discrimination issues.

Before joining the EEOC in May 2019, Dhillon served as general counsel for Burlington Stores Inc. and previously JC Penney Co. Inc. She began her legal career at law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Dhillon on Monday declined to comment on what position she will be taking when she leaves office.

(Updated with additional reporting throughout. )

To contact the reporter on this story: J. Edward Moreno in Washington at jmorenodelangel@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Martha Mueller Neff at mmuellerneff@bloomberglaw.com; Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloombergindustry.com