Vice Chair Jocelyn Samuels, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Jocelyn Samuels was designated by President Biden as Vice Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on January 20, 2021. She joined the EEOC as a Commissioner on October 14, 2020, and on July 14, 2021, was confirmed for a second term ending in 2026.
Immediately prior to joining the Commission, Vice Chair Samuels served as the Executive Director and Roberta A. Conroy Scholar of Law at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, focusing on legal and social science research on issues related to sexual and gender minorities. From August 2014 through January 2017, she was the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, where she oversaw civil rights enforcement with respect to hospitals, healthcare providers, insurers, and human services agencies. In that role, she spearheaded development of regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act—the first broad-based federal law to prohibit sex discrimination in healthcare. Among other advances, those groundbreaking regulations protected LGBTQ persons from discrimination based on sex stereotyping and gender identity.
Earlier in the Obama Administration, Vice Chair Samuels served as Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice and held other positions as a political appointee within the DOJ Civil Rights Division. There, she directly supervised litigation combating discrimination in employment and education and oversaw work across a range of civil rights issues, including voting rights, systemic reform of police departments, housing discrimination, prosecution of hate crimes, and protections for individuals with disabilities.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Vice Chair Samuels was the Vice President for Education & Employment at the National Women’s Law Center, where she led efforts to promote gender equality. Among other accomplishments there, she spearheaded the campaign that led to enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first bill signed into law by President Obama. She had previously served as Labor Counsel to Senator Edward M. Kennedy and spent ten years as a senior policy attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel at the EEOC.
Vice Chair Samuels earned her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Middlebury College. She is a graduate of Columbia University Law School where she was a Note Editor for The Columbia Law Review and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
Kilah Walters-Clinton M.Ed. | Director Race, Equity, and Community Engagement, State of Rhode Island, Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Matthew Parker, Partner, Whelan Corrente & Flanders LLP
A partner at Whelan Corrente & Flanders LLP and the chair of the Labor Law and Employment Committee of the Rhode Island Bar Association, Attorney Parker’s practice is focused on employment law, business litigation, and labor law. He counsels employers and human resources professionals on how to hire, fire, pay, manage, and negotiate with employees, he drafts employment contracts, employee handbooks, non-compete agreements, and non-disclosure agreements, he conducts workplace investigations and trainings, he represents companies and individuals in federal and state courts, and he is also an experienced practitioner before administrative agencies such as the R.I. Commission for Human Rights, the R.I. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He regularly counsels clients concerning Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, the FLSA, the FMLA, the NLRA, and state labor and employment laws and regulations, he represents unionized employers in grievance arbitration hearings, collective bargaining, and in defense of unfair labor practice charges, he contests union representation petitions, and he has successfully handled countless unemployment and other agency appeals.
Greg Tumolo, Esq., Partner, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, LLP
Gregory Tumolo is a partner in the Providence office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Labor & Employment Practice. Gregory’s practice is focused on representing and counseling employer and employee clients in a wide array of labor and employment law matters.
Gregory has substantial experience providing employers with the creative and cost-effective compliance solutions that they need to grow their businesses and effectively manage risk. He drafts, reviews, and disseminates the documents that they need to recruit and retain a diverse and talented workforce; build a workplace free of unlawful discrimination and harassment; and comply with their obligations under local, state, and federal law. He regularly assists clients with issues arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and state anti-discrimination and wage and hour laws. He also provides education and training to executives, managers, and HR professionals on a wide variety of employment law topics.
Gregory also has several years of direct and substantial experience litigating discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, and whistle-blower claims. He has successfully defended employers in cases before the before state courts and administrative agencies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
For his employee clients, Gregory negotiates the terms of employment agreements and proposed severance packages, assist with career transitions that involve non-competition and restrictive covenants, and aggressively represents their interests in cases involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and unpaid wages.
Pam Thornton, Director of Strategic HR Services, Employers Association of the NorthEast (EANE)
Pam has spent over 20 years in human resources; 10 years in private industry in HR capacities for nationally-recognized companies including LEGO Systems, Inc. and K2 Sports where she directed 200+ people teams across the country involving a wide array of HR functions including performance management, training and engagement and has been with the Employers Association of the NorthEast since 2014 serving the human resources needs of the members. She is a seasoned veteran in the recruiting industry, working with companies on executive-level placement.
Pam has been certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) by the Human Resource Certification Institution since 2004. She is a certified trainer with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Prevention, and conducts training on such topics as Discrimination Prevention and Workplace Respect, Sexual Harassment, Family and Medical Leave, Wage and Hour FLSA Guidelines and many other employment law related topics.
Pam earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a Strategic Human Resources Concentration from Bay Path University. She is a past president of the Human Resource Management Association of Western New England where she remains on the Board of Directors. Pam is a SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and has been a member of the Society of Human Resource Management since 2004
Mark Adams, Director of Compliance, Employers Association of the NorthEast (EANE)
Mark leads EANE’s HR compliance operations, providing services to member companies and directing programs for affirmative action, background checking, and data surveys. A frequent writer and speaker throughout the region, Mark guides management-level and C-suite professionals on topical issues ranging from drug testing to FMLA to employee vs. independent contractor laws.
He is the primary editor and author of EANE’s e-alerts, keeping members in-the-know about pending legal and regulatory developments critical to the workplace. Mark is a graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and the Western New England College School of Law where he obtained his Juris Doctor in 1992.
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