"Four Senate Republicans are effectively blocking their own party from seizing majority control of the federal agency charged with combating workplace discrimination and harassment, trade association lobbyists tell Bloomberg Law.
Time is running out in a busy election year for the Senate to approve President Donald Trump’s three picks to serve on the five-member Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and business groups are now increasing the pressure on Capitol Hill in the hopes of eliminating the logjam and delivering a more employer-friendly EEOC.
But an intra-party divide between faith-based social conservatives and traditional business-minded Republicans threatens to preserve a Senate stalemate on the EEOC selections for at least the rest of 2018…
The business community’s mission is to make the case to the four Senate Republicans that their reservations about Feldblum should be outweighed by the necessity for a five-member commission to offer clarity on employer wellness plans, workplace harassment guidance, salary reporting rules, and new enforcement priorities...
Sexual harassment guidance developed by the agency in 2017 has been pending at the White House Office of Management and Budget, apparently on hold until the Republican nominees are confirmed. The EEOC announced recently that it’s reconvening a task force on harassment in the workplace. The agency also has to decide what to do about a regulation limiting employee wellness plan incentives that has been put on hold by a federal judge.
Another factor is driving the EEOC advocacy of late: The religious right wants to replace Feldblum with a more mainstream Democrat, but employer representatives have built a rapport with her that they’re not ready to abandon. Several business sources said they appreciate Feldblum’s willingness to listen to their positions, even if they sometimes disagree with her interpretations of equal employment laws and policy priorities."
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