Keith E. Sonderling was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 22, 2020, to be a Commissioner on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for a term expiring July 1, 2024. He previously served as the Commission’s Vice Chair.
The EEOC’s mission is to prevent and remedy unlawful employment discrimination and advance equal opportunity for all in the workplace. The EEOC does so by enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination against employees and job applicants based on the person’s race, age, sex, national origin, color, religion, disability or genetic information. The laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages and benefits. The EEOC investigates and litigates discrimination charges against employers and governments. The EEOC also prevents discrimination through providing education, outreach, and technical assistance programs.
Prior to his confirmation, Commissioner Sonderling served as the Acting and Deputy Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the U.S. Department of Labor. The Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces federal labor laws including the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the labor provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. At the Wage and Hour Division, Sonderling oversaw enforcement, outreach, regulatory work, strategic planning, performance management, communications and stakeholder engagement. During his tenure, the Division accomplished back-to-back record-breaking enforcement collections and educational outreach events. Sonderling oversaw the development and publication of large-scale deregulatory rules and authored numerous Opinion Letters, Field Assistance Bulletins and All Agency Memorandums. Additionally, he was instrumental in developing the Division’s first comprehensive self-audit program, which collected more than $4 million for nearly ten thousand workers.
Before joining the Department of Labor in 2017, Commissioner Sonderling was a partner at the Gunster Law Firm in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he practiced labor and employment law. In 2012, then-Governor Rick Scott appointed Sonderling to serve as the Chair of the Judicial Nominating Committee for appellate courts in South Florida.
Sonderling received his B.S., magna cum laude, from the University of Florida and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Nova Southeastern University.