Dreiband Confirmed by the Senate as the New Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Justice Department
Today, October 11, 2018, the U. S. Senate voted 50-47 along party lines to confirm former U.S. DOL and EEOC lawyer Eric Dreiband as the new Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Dreiband’s nomination had languished for more than a year after President Trump initially nominated him to the post. During his confirmation hearing, Dreiband promised to vigorously defend civil rights laws. However, his career track record of defending corporations accused of discrimination prompted more than 70 civil rights groups to oppose Dreiband’s nomination, calling him the wrong man for the job.
According to the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Mr. Dreiband has been an outspoken opponent against equal pay for women. In 2008, he opposed bipartisan legislation – the Fair Pay Restoration Act – that would have reversed the Supreme Court’s infamous Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company decision. In testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Mr. Dreiband expressed opposition to meaningful access to the courts for women who were paid less than men for the same job.  Congress rejected Mr. Dreiband’s views on the need for women to be able to remedy long-term pay discrimination and passed the bill in early 2009.
In addition, Mr. Dreiband made arguments to limit the ability of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to bring class action lawsuits in the 2015 case, EEOC v. Bloomberg. In that case, Mr. Dreiband defended Bloomberg, L.P. in a company-wide discrimination and retaliation class action case brought by the EEOC alleging that Bloomberg engaged in a pattern or practice of pregnancy discrimination by reducing the pay of pregnant women and women who took maternity leave.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Division at DOJ.