By Yoav Gonen (thecity.nyc)
City officials ended a four-year vacancy by finally naming a chairperson to lead an independent workplace discrimination, diversity and sexual harrassment watchdog.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson jointly picked Sasha Neha Ahuja, a former Planned Parenthood official, to head the Equal Employment Practices Commission. The commission is charged with auditing the hiring and employment practices of more than 140 city agencies.
The duties of the EEPC, which came out of revisions to the City Charter in 1989, were expanded last year to include audits of each city agency’s sexual harassment prevention and response practices.
The body has been operating without a chairperson, who also serves as one of its five commissioners, since March 2015. City officials have offered no explanation for the appointment lapse, and insist the work of the commission wasn’t hampered.
“The work of the Equal Employment Practices Commission is vital to ensuring the diversity of our government, and their work has continued without delay,” said Laura Feyer, a City Hall spokesperson. “Sasha has centered her entire career around the issues of equity and justice, and we are happy to welcome her as chair.”