Leslie E. Silverman is a Partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department, resident in the Washington, D.C. office, and a co-head of the Employment Law Counseling & Training and Government Regulatory Compliance and Relations Groups. She counsels and advises clients on complying with workplace laws, dealing with government agencies and on a wide range of workplace issues, including diversity and recruitment and retention programs.
Leslie served as the Vice Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission until September 2008, and as a member of the Commission starting in 2002. As a member of the EEOC, Leslie oversaw the development and approval of enforcement policies, authorized litigation, and issued Commissioner's charges of discrimination.
While at the Commission, Leslie initiated and led the EEOC’s Systemic Task Force which examined the EEOC’s efforts at combating systemic discrimination. In April 2006, the Commission unanimously adopted the Task Force’s recommendations. Based on those recommendations, the EEOC launched a comprehensive, nationwide systemic program. Leslie also helped spearhead the Commission’s examination of discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities, co-chairing two Commission meetings on the subject in early 2007. This effort culminated in the issuance of new EEOC enforcement guidance on the issue. During her tenure on the Commission, Leslie also led an effort to expand and enhance the EEOC’s mediation program in partnership with the American Bar Association.
Leslie is a member of the Center for Worklife Law’s Family Responsibilities Discrimination Management Brain Trust and has served as an EEO expert in other private-sector diversity initiatives, including the Center for Work-Life Policy’s “Hidden Brain Drain” Task Force, which focuses on the retention and advancement of women and minority employees; the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2008 Leadership Summit on Diversity and Inclusion Issues in the 21st Century; and the World Diversity Leadership Summit, as well as on a special expert’s panel charged with addressing gender diversity at the United Nations. In 2008, Leslie was a member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva.
Immediately prior to joining the Commission, Leslie served for five years as Labor Counsel to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee under Chairman James M. Jeffords and Ranking Member Judd Gregg. As Labor Counsel, Leslie was responsible for the oversight of the EEOC and the Department of Labor, and for handling all employment discrimination, Fair Labor Standards Act, and Family Medical Leave Act legislation on behalf of the Committee. From 1990 to 1997, she was an employment law and litigation associate with a Washington, D.C.-based law firm.
Leslie is a frequent speaker on EEO law and the EEOC, both in the United States and abroad.