FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Carolyn L. Wheeler

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Assistant General Counsel
Washington, DC, USA


Carolyn L. Wheeler is an Assistant General Counsel in the Appellate Services Division of the Office of General Counsel of the EEOC.  She supervises six attorneys who prepare briefs and argue appeals in cases the EEOC brings all over the country, and who track private lawsuits to file briefs as amicus curiae in cases raising important legal issues under the statutes the Commission enforces. Ms. Wheeler has been with the Commission since 1988.

 As part of her work, she has drafted or supervised the preparation of a number of joint briefs the EEOC and the government filed in the Supreme Court including the brief on fetal protection policies (Johnson Control v. UAW); those in many of the recent sexual harassment cases (Harris v. Forklift, Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, Faragher v. Boca Raton, and Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc.); the ADEA waiver case (Oubre v. Entergy Operations, Inc.); the ADA mitigating measures cases decided in 1999 (Sutton v. United Air Lines and Murphy v. UPS); the ADA coverage cases decided in 2002 (Toyota v. Williams and Chevron v. Echazabal); the Title VII "mixed-motive" case, (Desert Palace v. Costa) decided in June 2003; the ADEA case holding that the statute protects the relatively older from discrimination in treatment as compared with the relatively younger (General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. v. Cline); and the case involving the proper standard in retaliation cases (Burlington Northern v. White). More recently she worked with the Office of the Solicitor General on briefs in EEOC v. Kentucky Retirement Systems, Sprint v. Mendelsohn, and Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville; last year she assisted in preparation of the government's briefs in Gross v. FBL Financial Services (mixed motives in an ADEA case), and Ricci, et al. v. DeStefano, et al. (New Haven firefighter case); and this year she is working on the government's brief in Thompson v. North American Stainless (third party retaliation).

 Prior to Ms. Wheeler's tenure at the Commission, she served for three years as Law Clerk to the Hon. Thomas Tang of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She graduated from the University of Montana School of Law with Highest Honors and is admitted to practice before the bars of most of federal courts of appeals as well as the United States Supreme Court. She is a member of the Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court, the only inn devoted to appellate practitioners.  Before attending law school, Ms. Wheeler taught English, Humanities and Women's Studies for ten years at the Universities of Montana and Missouri. She earned her A.B. and M.A. degrees with Honors in English from the University of Missouri.

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