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July 2011

Daily Business Review Appraises New Florida EEOC Leadership

Miami Employment Partner Robin Taylor Symons Quoted on Notable Changes

After being in a "state of limbo" for several years, the Miami office of the EEOC is back on track according to P. David Lopez, general counsel for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who was quoted in a June 27 article in the Daily Business Review on the arrival of new leadership. 


Lopez was referring to the decline of the EEOC's stature under the Bush administration, the agency's revival under President Obama, and the recent hiring of new district director, Malcolm Medley, formerly head of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and Robert E. Weisberg, a veteran civil rights attorney, who will serve as the general counsel for the office overseeing most of Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 


Weisberg, a former plaintiff and class action specialist was praised by Lopez who said, "He shares my dedication to excellence.  He shares my commitment fostering an environment in his office conducive to creativity."


Under the new leadership, it is expected that there will be an increase in discrimination complaints against employers.  Indeed, since September when Medley and Weisberg arrived in the Miami office, two significant sexual harassment lawsuits have been filed, one against tomato grower DiMare Ruskin; the other against Four Amigos Travel. 


Interviewed as an attorney who defends companies, Miami partner Robin Taylor Symons said the change has been noticeable.  "It's fair to say there has been a sea change, and the EEOC has stepped up its initiatives.  We are certainly educating our clients to be aware of the heightened scrutiny."


Symons said she tells her clients to make sure employees know there are internal compliance programs for making and dealing with discrimination complaints so workers don't have to turn to the EEOC for resolution.  She stressed that in-house efforts could pay off if a jury ever has to decide the company's fate.    


Please click here to read the complete article. 

Robin Symons