For Immediate Release - November 11, 2015

MCAD Mourns the Passing of Former EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien

The MCAD mourns the loss of former EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien who passed away on Monday, November 9, 2015.

Ms. Berrien was the former Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the MCAD’s sister agency on federal employment discrimination matters. She served in that capacity from 2010 – 2014.  Prior to that, Ms. Berrien worked as a civil rights attorney and advocate for the NAACP and the Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights.

Ms. Berrien had special ties to Massachusetts. She lived in Boston as a student and received her law degree from Harvard Law School.  While at Harvard, she served as an intern at the MCAD. “The MCAD was fortunate to have a special relationship with Chair Berrien and was honored to have her as the keynote speaker at our 2013 Annual Civil Rights conference in Springfield, MA. Her remarks were visionary and we will always be grateful for her support” noted MCAD Chairwoman, Jamie R. Williamson.

Ina  press release about the passing, the EEOC noted that under Chair Berrien’s leadership, the EEOC issued several guidelines addressing Pregnancy Discrimination, Genetic Information and Age Discrimination which has helped give guidance on both the federal and state level. “She was always a big advocate for the state human rights agencies that partner with the EEOC”, stated MCAD Commissioner Sunila Thomas George. “I have fond memories from back in 2011 when Chair Berrien was visiting the city of Boston and took the time to meet with our staff to offer words of thanks and gratitude for their continued service while acknowledging the difficult but vital work that they do”.

President Obama and others have issued statements on the passing of Chair Berrien.