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Equal Remedies Act of 2007

Commerce Clearing House has details on a bill filed by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) "that would eliminate the caps on the amount of damages plaintiffs can recover in employment discrimination cases under the Civil Rights Act of 1991". Michael Fox at Jottings of an Employer's Lawyer has this to say about the proposal:

The stated reason -- to ensure equality for gender, disability and religious discrimination claims with those available to individuals who bring claims for race or national origin discrimination. Those claims can be brought under � 1981 which has no caps. (It also has a much longer statute of limitations and no requirement to file with the EEOC, so following the logic of this legislation, perhaps we could save some taxpayer money and abolish the EEOC.)

My only surprise is that it has taken this long to surface. Just from a political perspective it's a hard sell to argue that race and national origin claims are worth more than others.

The most appropriate action would be to place caps on �1981 claims to match those in Title VII. But that of course would violate the unwritten, but seemingly cast in stone, rule that no matter whether it is rational or not, no employee legislation is ever to be altered that could in any way be construed as adverse to a potential plaintiff. Congress can only give more; it cannot take away.

More from Paul Secunda at Workplace Law Blog. For more of our entries on employment and labor law, by the way, check out our category page on that topic.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.