GREENVILLE, S.C. (August 12, 2019) – Sharon Fast Gustafson, a 1980 BJU graduate, was recently confirmed as general counsel to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Nominated by President Donald Trump in 2018, she was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 1. She will serve a four-year term as the chief legal counsel for the nation’s primary agency tasked with enforcing federal employment laws and resolving workplace discrimination claims.
Gustafson earned a BA in English from BJU. She went on to graduate with honors from Georgetown University Law Center with a JD in 1991. After graduation, she joined Jones Day, one of the largest law firms in the United States, where she worked in the labor and employment division for four years.
Since 1996, Gustafson has practiced law as a sole practitioner based in Arlington, Virginia. The majority of her litigation has involved a wide range of cases dealing with employment law. Most notably, Gustafson served as plaintiff’s counsel in the landmark Supreme Court case, Young v. UPS, which resulted in expanded protections and legal redress for pregnant employees. Her role in the case led to recognition by the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association which honored her as Lawyer of the Year citing her “outstanding dedication to Civil Rights, Equality, and Justice.”
In her testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Gustafson noted that “civil rights statutes were enacted because sometimes those in positions of power prey on the relatively powerless, or discriminate against those who are unlike themselves.” She has devoted her “career to listening to people’s stories and to identifying valid claims, wrongs that cry out to be righted.”
Gustafson and her husband, the Honorable David Gustafson, have nine children and reside in Virginia.