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An Hispanic, pro-labor, pro-feminist woman was appointed to head the EEOC in Oct. 1998.  Will the EEOC continue to deny discrimination claims by non-minorities?  Oct. 26, 1999 - Castro announces EEOC protection of illegal immigrants.

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Ida L. Castro is New Chair of the EEOC
Adversity.Net Analysis
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Who is the new head of the EEOC, and what can we expect from her?

Adversity.Net has reviewed the public record of Ida L. Castro, and we have extracted the following informative highlights of this woman’s life and career.

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See Also:  Ida Castro's EEOC Protects Illegal Immigrants 10/26/99


Career and Resume of Ida L. Castro
Adversity.Net Report 12/11/98

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          Before her Oct. 1998 appointment as Chair of the EEOC, Ms. Castro spent a number of years at the U.S. Department of Labor advocating for women’s rights and especially for the rights of "women of color". 

          According to the Department of Labor’s biography of Ms. Castro: "Throughout her career as a public servant, community activist and labor lawyer she has participated in numerous labor, women’s and Hispanic organizations..."

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          Given Ida Castro’s background, experiences, and political leanings, perhaps the most ominous public statement she has made as the new head of the EEOC is this:  "I see this job as giving me the ability to address concerns that I have picked up throughout my life," presumably meaning concerns about one-way discrimination and bigotry by 'whites' against minorities.  This might not bode too well for the significant number of EEOC complainants who are non-minorities.

          Ms. Castro has an impressive resume which is sprinkled with lots of statements about "the first woman to do XYZ" and "the first Hispanic woman to do XYZ".  The Clinton White House played a significant role in building Ms. Castro's resume by fast tracking her rise through the Dept. of Labor, rapidly expanding her government service credentials over the course of four short years, culminating with her appointment to the EEOC. (See Clinton's multiple appointment attempts on Ms. Castro's behalf, below.)

          In October 1998 Ida Castro assumed leadership of an EEOC which has recently come under fire for the practice of using "racial testers".  "Racial testers" are government agents or contractors who operate in pairs:  one "tester" is a minority with a fraudulent resume; and the other "tester" is a non-minority (also with a fraudulent resume).  The use of EEOC police in this manner is designed to entice employers into hiring the fraudulent non-minority applicant, and thus create a prima facie case for racial discrimination.  Let’s see if Ms. Castro abides by the recent court rulings against this abhorrent practice.

          Publicly, Ms. Castro has promised that her EEOC will engage in a much more aggressive public relations campaign (she calls is "communicating with the public") with the goal of changing the public’s perception of the agency as intrusive, incompetent, and racially biased against non-minorities.  Given the history of EEOC, this is a pretty tall order for a public relations campaign!


Ida Castro Career Vita:

1973:  Municipality of Carolina, Puerto Rico: Director of Manpower (first woman ever)

1976:  Faculty of the Labor Education Center, Institute for Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University.

New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., senior counsel for legal affairs.

1988:  Hostos Community College (Bronx), special counsel to the president as well as Director of Labor Relations.

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1994 - 1998:  Meteoric Rise thru the upper ranks of the US Dept. of Labor

Acting Deputy Solicitor for National Operations

Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (first woman ever) (1994 - 1996)

Acting Director of the Women’s Bureau of DOL (1996 - 1998)

          Ida Castro was named "Director-designate" of the Women’s Bureau of DOL.  The nominal title "Director-designate" marked the beginning of the political vetting process.  She was given the "Director-designate" title on Mar. 18, 1996.  Four months later, on July 29, 1996 Bill Clinton officially submitted her nomination to the U.S. Senate for the actual position "Director" of the Women’s Bureau. 

          Apparently, the Senate did not approve her nomination as Director, because on March 10, 1998 Bill Clinton re-submitted Ida L. Castro’s nomination to the Senate for the position of Director, Women’s Bureau.  The Senate didn’t approve that nomination, either. Thus, Ms. Castro remained "Acting Director" for the short balance of her tenure at the Dept. of Labor.

          On June 15, 1998 Bill Clinton submitted Ida L. Castro’s nomination to the Senate as a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for a term expiring on July 1, 2003.

          The Senate approved this nomination and in October 1998 Ida L. Castro was sworn in as chairwoman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Other Career Accomplishments:

Founder and co-chair of the first Hispanic women’s organization in New Jersey.

First Hispanic woman to serve as deputy campaign manager in a successful mayoral race in New York City.

College:

Undergraduate Study: University of Puerto Rico

Graduate Study: Master’s in Labor Studies (Rutgers University)

Law Degree (Rutgers University)

First woman to receive tenure at Rutgers University’s Institute for Management and Labor Relations.

Childhood:

Born in New York City.

Grew up in Hato Rey, a suburb of San Juan, Puerto Rico.


Links, Public Records and News:

Washington (10/26/99):  EEOC's Latina Chairwoman, Ida Castro, Protects Illegal Immigrants
          On October 26, 1999 the EEOC, headed by its first Latina Chairwoman, announced a controversial reversal of policy:   EEOC will now extend the full force of its enforcement powers to the benefit of foreign workers who are in this country illegally.  Sometimes they are known as illegal aliens, sometimes as undocumented workers, but Ida L. Castro prefers to think of them as the victims of "national origin discrimination". 
[link http://www.adversity.net/fed_stats/fednews_EEOC.htm#illegal_immigrants]

Washington Post (11/30/98):  Childhood Lessons Still Inspire New Leader of EEOC (dead link)
          At age 46, Ida L. Castro "has never forgotten her (first grade) teacher's words:  'Don't say anything to that spic.'  That brief encounter with bigotry in a Bronx classroom ...left a lasting impression on Castro.  It has served as motivation during a long career in labor relations" and in fighting for women's rights and for minority women's rights.   The EEOC which Castro joins is beset by many critics:  "...particularly small business owners see EEOC as an intrusive bully that too often misuses its considerable powers to pursue what they see as misguided notions of workplace bias."   Stephen Bokat, general cousel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pointedly complains about the enormous cost to the business community of responding to EEOC charges which may, in fact, be baseless.  Bokat thinks the EEOC would do well to arbitrate, mediate and negotiate as a more cost effective means of resolving allegations of work place bias.   (Story by Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post, Mon., 11/30/98, page A23)
[former link: *http://search.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-11/30/052l-113098-idx.html]

Dept. of Labor Bio ('96):  Ida L. Castro, Acting Director, Women's Bureau (dead link)
[former link (before change to next acting administrator): was at
dol.gov/dol/wb/public/directors_bio/bio.htm]

CQUEST Bio ('95):  Deputy Ass't Sec'ty for Workers' Compensation, U.S. DOL

Speech in New York (7-18-96):  Embracing the Future of Women

Congressman Ed Pastor (D-Ariz) (7-24-97):  Ida Castro on Discrimination Against Women (published in the Arizona Business Gazette)

U.S. Dept. of Justice (7-97):  News About Violence Against Women

 

          Adversity.Net will continue to monitor developments at the EEOC.  If you have a news article link on Ida L. Castro's public statements and actions as head of EEOC, or recent EEOC cases of interest, submit them to editor@adversity.net.

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*  We use the term reverse discrimination reluctantly and only because it is so widely understood.  In our opinion there really is only one kind of discrimination.