Daily Labor Report®

Former EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum to Join Morgan Lewis (1)

Feb. 19, 2019, 3:37 PMUpdated: Feb. 19, 2019, 7:00 PM

Former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission member Chai Feldblum is joining Morgan, Lewis & Bockius as a partner and director of the management-side law firm’s workplace culture consulting and training practice, beginning Feb. 25, she told Bloomberg Law.

Feldblum’s former chief of staff, Sharon Masling, will be joining her as a partner at the firm. Feldblum and Masling won’t be litigating in their new roles.

The duo will be offering employers a “comprehensive, A to Z, soup to nuts, harassment prevention” plan, customized specifically for each employer, Feldblum said.

“Of course it’s a surprising move for someone like me, no doubt at all, but for me, it’s the smartest and most strategic move” to make change for workers across the country, she said. “We are offering a different take on a traditional service.”

Her new role complements her previous position on the commission by offering what she called “counseling on steroids” to employers who are proactively or reactively responding to sexual harassment in the workplace.

The EEOC enforces the federal ban on sexual harassment in the workplace, and Feldblum previously wrote a report on harassment prevention with Republican Commissioner Victoria Lipnic.

EEOC Background

Feldblum served two terms as a commissioner at the EEOC and awaited confirmation for a third term when the process was stalled by GOP lawmakers, including Senator Mike Lee (Utah). The senator and other elected officials opposed her alleged views on LGBT protections for employees.

Feldblum told Bloomberg Law on Jan. 15 that she wouldn’t pursue another term at the EEOC after her nomination expired on Jan. 2, but that she would instead independently present her expertise to “create the right leadership, accountability, procedures, training” in a “smart and strategic way.”

The move to a management-side firm may appear counterintuitive to her former role, but Feldblum said her initial plan to establish an independent not-for-profit venture wouldn’t have reached the kinds of companies she wanted to assist.

She said there is no doubt that firms like Morgan Lewis defend employers, but the firm also offers counseling and preventative services, which will be her primary role.

“People who know me know I have a passion for making the world a better place—that has driven my life,” she said. “I will be able to help employers.”

The news was first reported by the National Law Journal.

(Updated to include additional reporting.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Paige Smith in Washington at psmith@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at snadel@bloomberglaw.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bloomberglaw.com

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