The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved the nomination of Sharon Fast Gustafson as general counsel and the re-nomination of Democrat Charlotte Burrows as commissioner for a second term on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Both approvals came via a process known as unanimous consent, which does not require a vote.
Two days earlier, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the nominations to be sent for floor confirmation. The vote for Burrows was 23-0 and for Gustafson 13-10, with just one Democrat voting in favor.
The general counsel position has been vacant throughout the Trump administration. Gustafson is a employment lawyer practicing solo in Virginia. In her practice, she represents mostly employees in discrimination and whistleblower cases.
Gustafson was sworn in on Aug. 9 and made this statement:
My own experience so far in employment discrimination matters has not been to sit in a high seat, pulling the levers of power. Rather, I have been a solo lawyer most often representing the employee of modest means or the small business employer. My seat has been in a mediation room, trying to invoke the agency’s remedies to help someone get his job back, to get compensation for a wrongful termination, or to preserve the reputation of an employer wrongly accused. I think of my work as having been retail, street-level civil rights litigation. I look forward to using my decades of experience in employment law to conduct the litigation of the EEOC. My goal is to work with the EEOC’s career staff to prevent illegal discrimination in the workplace and to remedy it where it has occurred.