The Obama administration has appointed lesbian attorney Elaine Kaplan as general counsel for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Kathie Ann Whipple, acting director to the Office of Personnel Management, stated, “With Kaplan’s appointment, OPM gains the expertise of an individual with more than 25 years of legal experience in the fields of federal sector labor and employment law who is uniquely qualified to serve the agency in its role as the president’s chief adviser on federal human resource issues.”
Kaplan has been the senior deputy general counsel for the National Treasury Employees Union in Washington since 2004.
From 1984 until 1998, Kaplan worked as an attorney for NTEU until she was named head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel by President Bill Clinton.
Among other things the Office of Special Counsel focuses on protecting federal workers from employment discrimination, which includes discrimination based on sexual orientation.
After her term with the Office of Special Counsel, Kaplan was succeeded by
Bush administration appointee Scott Bloch. Kaplan joined other federal workers in confronting Bloch, arguing that the civil service laws as they are now did not protect gays against job discrimination.
At OPM, Kaplan will serve under John Berry, the office’s incoming director, who is also openly gay.