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Controversy brews in advance of commission meeting

Controversy has developed in advance of today’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) meeting at which the agency is expected to vote on and release two updated enforcement guidance documents: one on the use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions; the other on reasonable accommodations and undue hardship under the ADA. On April 19, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Society for Human Resource Management, and the HR Policy Association sent a letter to Cass R. Sunstein, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the OMB, criticizing the EEOC for its anticipated vote on the ADA guidance “without any meaningful opportunity for stakeholder participation in development of the guidance and without review by OMB.”

A copy of the letter was purportedly sent to EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. In response, an EEOC spokesperson told CCH that “we always welcome any input from our stakeholders on issues of importance to them.”

It also has been reported that Sen. Michael Enzi (R-Wyo), the senior Republican on the Senate HELP Committee, sent Barrien a letter dated April 19 as well, criticizing the agency’s intended vote on the criminal history guidance without first sharing a draft with stakeholders. Sunstein was reportedly copied on the letter. As of this afternoon, the EEOC had not yet formally received Sen. Enzi’s letter, according to the agency’s spokesperson.