Keith E. Sonderling

Keith Sonderling

Keith E. Sonderling

Professorial Lecturer in Law

2000 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20052

Keith E. Sonderling was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, with a bipartisan vote, to be a Commissioner on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2020. Until January of 2021, he served as the Commission’s Vice-Chair. His term expires July of 2024.

The EEOC is the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. The laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, training, wages, benefits, and prevent harassment and retaliation.

Prior to Commissioner Sonderling's confirmation to the EEOC, he served as the Acting and Deputy Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the U.S. Department of Labor. Before joining the Department of Labor in 2017, Commissioner Sonderling practiced Labor and Employment law in Florida. He also serves as a Professional Lecturer in the Law at the George Washington University Law School, teaching employment discrimination.

Since joining the EEOC, one of his highest priorities is ensuring that artificial intelligence and workplace technologies are designed and deployed consistent with long-standing civil rights laws. Commissioner Sonderling has published numerous articles on the benefits and potential harms of using artificial intelligence-based technology in the workplace and speaks globally on these emerging issues.

Immediately before his confirmation to the EEOC, Commissioner Sonderling served as the Acting and Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. The Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces federal labor laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the labor provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. During his tenure, the Division accomplished back-to-back record-breaking enforcement collections and educational outreach events. 

Commissioner Sonderling also oversaw the development and publication of large-scale deregulatory rules and authored numerous Opinion Letters, Field Assistance Bulletins, and All Agency Memorandums. Additionally, he was instrumental in developing the Division’s first comprehensive self-audit program, which collected more than $7 million for nearly eleven thousand workers.

Before his government service, Commissioner Sonderling was a partner at one of Florida’s oldest and largest law firms, Gunster. At Gunster, he counseled employers and litigated labor and employment disputes. In 2012, then-Governor Rick Scott appointed Commissioner Sonderling to serve as the Chair of the Judicial Nominating Committee for appellate courts in South Florida. Commissioner Sonderling was also active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors for Morse Life Health System, the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, and Leadership Florida.

BS, University of Florida; JD, Nova Southeastern University