House Votes on Trial-Lawyers’ Full Employment Act

By July 31, 2007General

The House convenes at 9 a.m. this morning, with legislative business to get under way at 10 a.m. High on the agenda is a vote on passage of H.R. 2831, the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This bill destroys any measure of finality in employment law, eliminating deadlines for filing complaints for workplace discrimination.

As we noted yesterday (here), Congress has made repeated policy decisions to include deadlines in employment law. They’re there for a reason. First, deadlines provide employers with certainty: An alleged incident or practice is not going to come back and bite you 10 years after the fact, when the distance of time makes it almost difficult to refute accusations by a disgruntled (former) employer. Deadlines discourage the filing of frivolous lawsuits, meant not to correct a violation but only to squeeze some money out of (supposedly) deep pockets.

Deadlines also serve an important corrective purpose. If workplace discrimination is occurring unbeknownst to the employer, how can management correct it if no one complains? Employers of good will want to fix problems — if, at the very least, to address the legal liability — but may need the impetus of a complaint, one that brings the problem to their attention.

And again, proponents of this bill misrepresent it. It’s not a simple legislative fix to the Supreme Court ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, it’s a fundamental shift in employment law.

The National Retail Federation made the case in a letter to the House yesterday.

Contrary to the claims of the bill’s proponents, this bill contains numerous provisions that would unfairly and unnecessarily expand employer liability in a variety of employment law contexts, creating a long-term litigation time bomb while compromising the prompt settlement of discrimination claims,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations Steve Pfister said. “This measure abandons the balanced settlement process set forth in current law and instead creates a lawsuit bonanza for trial lawyers.”

For more information, please read the NAM’s Key Vote Letter, available here, and the one-page Manufacts is here. To contact your House member, please click here. Times is running out before the vote.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • FM says:

    I have no sympathy for your situation.
    I was fired from my job after being held up at gun point at work.
    I filed a complaint with corporate about the danger to people’s lives and property, and the need for security and guess what I was FIRED the same day as I submitted the complaint, and furthermore the company implemented all my security suggestions, and PLEASE don’t patronize me by tell me well see you should be happy they did fix the problem.

    I was told by EEOC, the state, DOL, IG, the police and lawyers.
    Hey you did the right thing, but sorry it was unfair and wrong how they treated you, but we don’t enforce unfairness there is nothing we can do.

    So I am not going to shed one tear because you guys believe you are being treated unfairly… you are reaping what you have sown.
    It’s called justice.


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