Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Scalito Court Limits Employment Law

WaPo: Supreme Court Limits Pay Discrimination Suits
Justices Back 180-Day Deadline for Claims

Today the Supreme Court said a worker can be discriminated against for years, and if they sue for back pay, they can only get it for the preceding 180 days before they file suit. This is a massive change in prior precedent, and gives employers an incentive not to tell employees how much their co-workers are paid. How do you know you're being discriminated against if you don't know what everyone else makes? So most employers make a big point of telling employees not to tell each other what they make.

This decision ignores the practical realities of the workplace. Many workers are still on probation for the first 180 days. They're supposed to be figuring out they're being discriminated against, and hiring a lawyer, while they're trying to hold on to a new job? Ridiculous.

''This short deadline reflects Congress's strong preference for the prompt resolution of employment discrimination allegations through voluntary conciliation and cooperation,'' Alito said.

The decision was written by Strip Search Sammy Alito, and we have these weasel Democrats to thank for his presence on the court, because they voted for cloture and let Alito through:

Akaka (HI), Baucus (MT), Bingaman (NM), Byrd (WV), Cantwell (WA), Carper (DE), Conrad (ND), Dorgan (ND), Inouye (HI), Johnson (SD), Kohl (WI), Landrieu (LA), Lieberman (CT), Lincoln (AR), Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE), Pryor (AR), Rockefeller (WV), Salazar (CO)

In dissent, Ruth Bader Ginsburg calls on Congress to pass legislation overturning this cramped view of discrimination law; let's hope the Democrats in Congress can find a little courage on this one.

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