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Iraq Veteran, Daniel M. Gade, selected to serve as EEOC commissioner

2017-08-02

Dr. Gade is a strong advocate for veteran’s and disability issues

President Trump has nominated Daniel M. Gade to fill the last open slot on the five-member Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  Dr. Gade has a Master’s and Ph.D. in Public Administration and Public Policy.  He is a veteran of the second Iraq War and lost his right leg in 2005 from an explosion that occurred while out on a routine patrol.  If confirmed by the Senate, he will serve the remainder of a term that expires on July 1, 2021.

While serving in the George W. Bush administration, he worked on veterans’ issues, military healthcare and U.S. disability policy and also served on the National Council on Disability.   Recently, he retired from a faculty position teaching American Politics at his alma mater, the U.S. Military Academy in West Point.

Based on his past experience and writings, he is expected to be a strong advocate for self-reliance and getting disabled veterans back to work.  As quoted below, he has spoken out against the military definition of “disability,” contending that it is too broad and encourages veterans to stay out of the workforce. 

“By categorizing minor conditions as disabilities, the [veterans] process threatens to become a kind of stealthy welfare system, where those with minor conditions might feather their nests at the expense of both taxpayers and truly disabled veterans trapped behind them in a line that stretches over the horizon. This also harms the veterans who are being told the lie that they are “disabled” and being paid to believe it. Sadly, this process can decrease veterans’ work incentives and dull their ability to contribute to society after military service.”
 
Dr. Gade has advocated that the definition of “disability” in the veterans’ program should be narrowed to excluded “minor or age-related conditions,” that veterans’ claims be prioritized based on the seriousness of the condition.  He also encouraged the Veterans Administration to place a renewed focus on “retraining, rehabilitating and reintegrating veterans into the workforce. Those with serious disabilities should be compensated for their pain and reduced quality of life, but they should also be encouraged to work. Paying veterans to stop working is the wrong course for veterans and for broader American society.”

If both Gade and Janet Dhillon are both confirmed, there will be a Republican majority on the EEOC.

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.