The transfer was rapidly denounced by Republican EEOC Commissioner Andrea R. Lucas, who was appointed by former president Donald Trump final yr.
“I find the action taken today by the White House against our independent agency to be deeply troubling,” she said in a tweet, calling it an “injection of partisanship where it had been absent.”
The EEOC investigates office complaints on delicate points like these primarily based on race and gender, which had turn out to be deeply politicized through the heated tradition wars fanned by the Trump presidency.
The Trump administration sought to slim civil rights protections for LGBTQ folks by urging courts to overturn the EEOC interpretation, issued through the Obama administration, that discrimination in opposition to folks due to their sexual orientation and gender id ran afoul of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Gustafson had raised the hackles of civil rights, LGBTQ and ladies’s teams throughout her affirmation listening to, by what they noticed as “evasive” solutions she gave concerning the rights of LGBTQ staff throughout her Senate affirmation listening to.
“Her evasiveness suggests that she is unwilling or reluctant to preserve the EEOC’s critical mission of defending LGBT people’s well-established legal rights,” several human rights advocates wrote in a 2018 letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the then-chair of the committee that offers with labor points, and rating member Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
While on the fee, Gustafson had been concerned with anti-religious discrimination work.
“One of the issues she made as her hallmark, was the issue of discrimination against religious minorities, the law requiring religious accommodation of beliefs,” mentioned David Lopez, who preceded Gustafson as basic counsel beneath President Barack Obama. “Some lawyers from the conservative Christian right view this right as a conflict with requiring nondiscrimination against LGBTQ people.”
Gustafson didn’t reply instantly to requests for remark despatched to her private e-mail and work voice mail. The EEOC and the White House didn’t return requests for remark. The White House request for her dismissal was first reported by Bloomberg News.
Lopez mentioned he didn’t agree with the concept that Biden had violated a norm by dismissing her. He mentioned he had thought-about an analogous state of affairs earlier than the 2012 election, considering his destiny had Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney defeated Obama, who had appointed him. He mentioned he concluded that the best factor for him to do can be to resign.
“At the end of the day you serve at the pleasure of the president,” he mentioned. “I think the norm that was violated was that she decided to stay. I’ve never heard of that happening before.”
The Post was shared an e-mail that Gustafson despatched EEOC employees to say goodbye Friday.
“I have for the first time, after 50 years of employment, had my first opportunity to experience what my terminated clients experience,” she mentioned. “Whatever else it is, it’s good to have this firsthand perspective.”