Prior to the close of business on Friday, March 5, 2021, President Biden fired EEOC General Counsel Sharon Fast Gustafson. Ms. Gustafson was previously appointed to the position by President Trump to a four-year term that was set to expire in 2023. While in office, Ms. Gustafson prioritized litigating workplace religious discrimination claims against employers.
Earlier last week, Ms. Gustafson was asked to resign. She was then terminated a few hours after sending a letter to the White House formally declining that request. This move follows a similar chain of events that resulted in President Biden firing NLRB General Counsel, Peter Robb, after he too rebuffed a White House request that he step down before the scheduled end of his term.
Now that the position of EEOC General Counsel is vacant, President Biden will appoint Ms. Gustafson’s successor. The EEOC General Counsel is responsible for overseeing the EEOC’s important litigation concerning claims alleging, among other things, unequal pay and workplace discrimination based on race, sex, pregnancy, disability, ethnicity, religion and age.