Jairo Castellanos
Austin Employment Lawyer Jairo Castellanos

Summary: The EEOC is tasked with the enforcement of many of the laws that ensure a fair and equitable workplace. As such, the role of who is at the helm of the agency is not small matter. Recently, Karla Gilbride has been appointed as the new General Counsel for the EEOC. One look at her track record indicates that this is great news for employees.

The recent confirmation of Karla Gilbride as the new General Counsel for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) marks a critical turning point in the pursuit of safeguarding workers’ rights and combating discrimination in the workplace. As a prominent civil rights litigator, Gilbride’s track record and expertise exemplify her capability to steer the EEOC’s litigation efforts with integrity and proficiency.

With a remarkable history of representing workers in pivotal legal battles, Gilbride has been a strong advocate for employee rights, consistently securing victories in cases concerning workplace discrimination, unsafe working conditions, and arbitration issues. Notably, her success before the US Supreme Court in ensuring the protection of an employee’s right to pursue overtime claims signifies her unwavering commitment to upholding workers’ interests.

Furthermore, her recent triumph against Amazon Inc. in challenging hazardous working conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic highlights her dedication to ensuring a safe and equitable work environment for employees, especially during unprecedented crises. Thus it is more than fair to state that Gilbride will join the agency with a deep understanding of the laws the agency is tasked with enforcing. 

But, beyond the courtroom, Gilbride has also been a champion of worker rights. Gilbride’s involvement with the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center and her role in enhancing accessibility to the civil justice system for incarcerated individuals and their families showcase her dedication to promoting inclusive legal practices. Her advocacy for intersectional disability justice further underscores her commitment to ensuring equal opportunities and rights for all, regardless of background or circumstance.

At this juncture, Gilbride’s appointment will undoubtedly provide a much-needed breath of fresh air to the agency. The appointment of Gilbride is particularly crucial in the context of recent challenges to the EEOC’s authority, including attempts to limit the General Counsel’s power to initiate discrimination lawsuits without full commissioner approval. Gilbride’s extensive experience and deep understanding of the intricacies of labor law suggest a promising reversal of the constraints placed on the EEOC during the previous administration. With her at the helm, the EEOC is poised to regain its capacity to effectively address workplace discrimination, ensure fair treatment, and advance the cause of diversity and inclusion.

Furthermore, given the EEOC’s new strategic enforcement plan, it appears that her appointment will fit perfectly. In fact, Gilbride’s confirmation aligns seamlessly with the EEOC’s recent strategic enforcement plan, focusing on emerging issues such as AI-generated bias, workplace harassment, and pregnancy discrimination. Her expertise and commitment to combating discriminatory practices, coupled with the agency’s strengthened focus, will undoubtedly fortify the EEOC’s efforts in promoting fair and equitable employment practices across various industries.

As the EEOC charts a new course towards more inclusive and equitable workplaces, Karla Gilbride’s appointment as the new General Counsel signals that the EEOC may be ready to take the helm in enforcement the laws that are incredibly important to all employees nationwide. With her proven dedication to upholding civil rights, empowering marginalized communities, and advancing the cause of justice, the EEOC stands poised to usher in a new era of progressive enforcement and policy direction, ensuring that the fundamental rights of all employees are protected and upheld.

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Photo of Jairo N. Castellanos Jairo N. Castellanos

We asked Jairo N. Castellanos, an experienced Trial Attorney in the Austin office of Wiley Walsh, P.C., to impart his candid answers to a range of questions. After reading, you will be more more informed on the well-respected reputation that Mr. Castellanos

We asked Jairo N. Castellanos, an experienced Trial Attorney in the Austin office of Wiley Walsh, P.C., to impart his candid answers to a range of questions. After reading, you will be more more informed on the well-respected reputation that Mr. Castellanos carries.

1. Why did you start practicing labor and employment law?

I think labor and employment law is a fascinating part of the law that impacts everyone. Most people spend nearly as much time at work as they do with their family.

2. Who is your favorite Supreme Court Justice?

My favorite sitting justice is Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

3. What skills do you value as an employment attorney?

I think an important skill to have as an employment attorney is the ability to tell people’s stories. It is important to be able to effectively convey entirety of the case beyond the legal aspects of it.

4. What do you do when you’re not practicing law?

I like to read fiction and spend time with my daughter.

5. What’s your favorite legal movie

That is a toss-up between A Civil Action and My Cousin Vinny.

6. What’s your favorite legal TV show

Always Sunny in Philadelphia when they are discussing bird law.

7. Have you ever learned something from one of your clients?

I’ve learned that there is no one size fits all solution to dealing with issues. Much like there is no one size fits all way of approaching a problem.

8. If you could argue any case in history, what would it be?

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

9. What do you most want your clients to know about you?

That in me they can find someone that will fight his hardest for them regardless of the outcome.

10. Who’s your favorite judge?

Former Chief Justice John Marshall

Jairo N. Castellanos is a Trial Attorney in the Austin office of Wiley Walsh, P.C.  He graduated from The University of Nevada in Las Vegas with a bachelor’s degree in 2009.  Mr. Castellanos then graduated from The University of Texas School of Law in 2015. Mr. Castellanos is fluent in English and Spanish.