Senators Urge Delay at EEOC
Stephen Barr, Washington Post, 5/16/05

Today's vote on whether to reorganize the field structure of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is drawing a protest from 27 senators who have said that it should be postponed to allow public comment.

The senators -- 26 Democrats and an independent -- planned to send Cari M. Dominguez , the EEOC chairman, a letter asking her to reschedule the vote, which is set for this afternoon. The effort was led by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

In the letter, the senators said the vote "comes barely a week after the restructuring plans were announced and without allowing for a public hearing." The senators said that "more details are needed about staffing and resources to ensure that enforcement will not be undermined."

The EEOC reorganization proposal would cut the number of district directors by one-third, would redirect some employees into front-line jobs and would open two additional area offices, according to the agency.

Charles Robbins , an EEOC spokesman, said there were no plans to cancel today's meeting. The reorganization has been in the works for three years and was shaped by an outside study, an internal task force and comments from interested parties filed through the agency's Web site, Robbins said.

"The whole point is to improve service," he said.