Thursday, May 31, 2007

Save Title Seven of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

An editorial from today's New York Times echos my concerns about the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision. I hope congress will right this wrong decision soon. Only a new president and the passage of time will right the wrong done to the U.S. Supreme Court.

From the NYTimes today....

----------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial
Injustice 5, Justice 4

Published: May 31, 2007
The Supreme Court struck a blow for discrimination this week by stripping a key civil rights law of much of its potency. The majority opinion, by Justice Samuel Alito, forced an unreasonable reading on the law, and tossed aside longstanding precedents to rule in favor of an Alabama employer that had underpaid a female employee for years. The ruling is the latest indication that a court that once proudly stood up for the disadvantaged is increasingly protective of the powerful.

Lilly Ledbetter, a supervisor at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Gadsden, Ala., sued her employer for paying her less than its male supervisors. At first, her salary was in line with the men’s, but she got smaller raises, which created a significant pay gap. Late in her career, Ms. Ledbetter filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A jury found that Goodyear violated her rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Goodyear argued that she filed her complaint too late and, by a 5-4 margin, the Supreme Court agreed. Title VII requires employees to file within 180 days of “the alleged unlawful employment practice.” The court calculated the deadline from the day Ms. Ledbetter received her last discriminatory raise. Bizarrely, the majority insisted it did not matter that Goodyear was still paying her far less than her male counterparts when she filed her complaint.
In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that there were strong precedents supporting Ms. Ledbetter. The Supreme Court ruled in a similar race discrimination case that each paycheck calculated on the basis of past discrimination is unlawful under Title VII. The courts of appeals have overwhelmingly agreed. So did the E.E.O.C., the agency charged with enforcing Title VII.

In addition to interpreting the statute unreasonably and ignoring the relevant precedents, the majority blinded itself to the realities of the workplace. Employees generally do not know enough about what their co-workers earn, or how pay decisions are made, to file a complaint precisely when discrimination occurs. At Goodyear, as at many companies, salaries were confidential. The court’s new rules will make it extraordinarily difficult for victims of pay discrimination to sue under Title VII. That is not how Congress intended the law to be enforced, merely how five justices would like it to be.

It is disturbing that Anthony Kennedy, the court’s swing justice, cast the deciding vote in favor of gutting a key part of the Civil Rights Act. Fortunately, Congress can amend the law to undo this damaging decision. It should do so without delay.

1 comment:

costa rica said...

Hello I want to congratulate to you. This site is fantastic, looks like entertained and very good to me it elaborated. I invite them to that they explore a little on my site of the Web
Our real estate listing includes great opportunities on Costa Rica Central Valley’s provinces such as San Jose, our Capital, with remarkable cities as Escazu at the west, or Curridabat at the east, experiencing a great development on both commercial and residential properties, making their real estate pricing highly attractive to investors; on other hand, Alajuela city gathers places with a very special warm weather such as Grecia, La Garita and Atenas, or beautiful farms for agricultural, cattle or nature preservation purposes as those located on San Carlos or Sarapiqui. We also offer land properties in Guanacaste, which is the province, along with Puntarenas, with the most beautiful tropical beaches on the Pacific Coast such as Tamarindo, Playa Grande, El Coco, Playa Hermosa, Nosara, Samara, Herradura, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and Golfito, where the real estate business occupies the first place as the local economic activity.
Great investment opportunity at Costa Rica Pacific Coast, Preconstruction condos in costa rica
Condo sales in costa rica, Retirement property in costa rica. Visit us for more info at: http://www.costa-ricarealestate.com/