Says David Lopez has focused on headline-making lawsuits at the expense of workers alleging workplace discrimination
Posted on December 3, 2014
“Mr. Lopez has been chiefly responsible for the agency’s pursuit of high-profile lawsuits that have been rebuked by the courts." –Lamar Alexander
WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 3 –U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today voted against the president’s nominee for general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, David Lopez.
“During his time as general counsel, Mr. Lopez has been chiefly responsible for the agency’s pursuit of high-profile lawsuits that have been rebuked by the courts—and taxpayers are paying the cost of these rebukes,” Alexander said.
Last week, Alexander released a staff report detailing the litigation missteps the EEOC has taken in recent years. The report found that today’s EEOC “is pursuing many questionable cases through sometimes overly aggressive means—and, as a result, has suffered significant court losses that are embarrassing to the agency and costly to taxpayers. …The courts have criticized EEOC for misuse of its authority, poor expert analysis, and pursuit of novel cases unsupported by law.”
Alexander pointed to five separate EEOC lawsuits brought by Lopez that were so frivolous or mismanaged that the commission was required to pay attorney’s fees to the defendants—at taxpayers’ expense.
While the agency has pursued high-profile lawsuits without a complainant, in March 2014 EEOC reported almost 71,000 unresolved complaints of discrimination from individuals who filed charges. Further, its litigation has recovered almost $200 million less for victims than under the previous administration over the same time frame.
Alexander also noted that Lopez refused to answer whether he would wait on guidance from the commission on wellness plans before continuing to sue employers over their plans. “That’s discouraging employers who are trying to give employees cheaper insurance if they lead a healthy lifestyle,” Alexander said at last month’s hearing regarding Lopez’s nomination.
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