President Joe Biden intends to nominate civil rights attorney Kalpana Kotagal to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the White House announced Friday.
Currently a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Kotagal represents plaintiffs in employment and civil rights litigation involving issues related to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Kotagal also is a co-author of the “Inclusion Rider,” a contractual clause template that sets guideposts for the auditioning and interviewing process in Hollywood. Big-name actors and filmmakers often use those riders to boost diversity in productions they work on.
If confirmed, Kotagal would replace Republican commissioner Janet Dhillon when her term expires in July.
The EEOC currently has a 3-2 Republican majority. Kotagal’s confirmation would hand the commission a Democratic majority, better allowing the agency to advance more progressive policies on Biden’s agenda.
The EEOC’s general counsel position, which has been open since March 2021, remains vacant. Biden has yet to announce a nominee for that post.