Rep.Miller: Congress Must Overrule SCOTUS On Pay Discrimination

Rep. George Miller (D-CA) released this statement:

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, today said that the 5-4 Supreme Court decision in the Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber case, in which discriminated workers have only a narrow time-frame to file a complaint in the face of ongoing discrimination, was wrong and Congress should work to clarify the Civil Rights Act. “The Supreme Court’s ruling makes it more difficult for workers to stand up for their basic civil rights in the workplace. A worker undergoing sex, race, or other discrimination in pay is discriminated against with each and every discriminatory paycheck, not just when the company set the worker’s pay. Yet, according to the Supreme Court, if a worker does not file within 180 days of the employer’s decision to set her pay unlawfully, she has to live with that discrimination paycheck after paycheck. This ruling will force Congress to clarify the law’s intention that the ongoing effects of discriminatory decisions are just as unacceptable as the decisions themselves.”

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    Ginsberg says its up to Congress to (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Wed May 30, 2007 at 01:54:39 PM EST
    fix it, but doesn't she also say Congress already did so but the majority ignored the fix and relied on pre-fix cases?

    The earlier fix (none / 0) (#3)
    by Categorically Imperative on Wed May 30, 2007 at 02:01:26 PM EST
    Was narrowly focused on overruling the Court's interpretation of a particular provision of Title VII.  It did not relate to the pay discrimination/statute of repose issue here.  Ginsberg's point, which I think is 100% correct, was that the legislative history revealed that Congress generally wanted to give an expansive interpretation to Title VII and that the SCOTUS should do the same.

    That's Right (none / 0) (#4)
    by talex on Wed May 30, 2007 at 02:58:17 PM EST
    It was congress who made the law that anything over 6 months old could not be adjudicated. Their logic was that they did not want companies to have to defend claims that were old so they required plaintiffs to file within 6 months of the perceived violation.

    But as Ginsberg pointed out in her opinion that logic is flawed in many ways and it is up to congress to now fix it.


    Congress isn't going to do squat (none / 0) (#2)
    by Categorically Imperative on Wed May 30, 2007 at 01:59:16 PM EST
    Bush would veto any such legislation (he renounced the position of the EEOC, which supported Ledbetter, and submitted a brief in favor of Goodyear).  And we've already seen what Congress does in the face of a veto threat.

    This decision is a crock and is going to be distinguished away into nothingness...there is no way to square it with Bazemore and the game in pay discrimination claims is going to become artfully pleading facts to analogize your suit to Bazemore (which remains intact even after this decision) and Ledbetter.

    The only chance Congress does anything is if the corporations figure out this decision just gave them some huge headaches in terms of employees demanding comparative salary info and filing charges with the EEOC at the first hint of pay inequality.  

    BTW, I fear Alito, with egregious opinions like this, is only going to bring further disrepute on my course of schooling.

    Yep. Veto (none / 0) (#5)
    by talex on Wed May 30, 2007 at 03:01:47 PM EST
    That is why we must win the WH in '08. So this and so many other things can be fixed.

    Of course with almost half of the netroots abandoning the Democratic Party we may never win the WH. If we don't have the votes we don't win.

    Armando is doing his damnedest to make sure we don't.


    Things need fixin allright.... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2007 at 04:55:57 PM EST
    unfortunately the Democratic Party is grossly unqualified for the job.

    But don't worry talex, the "netroots" abandoning the party don't have the stones to start a new party or vote third party.  Your boys will get their votes all the same, they ain't voting for Rudy or Romney.


    Well I Wish (none / 0) (#7)
    by talex on Wed May 30, 2007 at 05:28:50 PM EST
    that more of you Dem Bashers would feel that way. Over at dkos things aren't so rosy with almost half swearing them off. But maybe they will come to their senses before November '08.

    As for the Dems being disqualified. You gotta be kidding. A few months ago people were praising them for all that they are doing. New legislation, investigations, talking about the right issues like Healthcare, cutting oil tax breaks, etc.

    But of course that was yesterday with the 'What Have You Done For Me Lately' crowd.


    ruling (none / 0) (#8)
    by diogenes on Wed May 30, 2007 at 10:56:12 PM EST
    The NY Times article said that there already exists an equal pay law with NO time restriction, but that this plaintiff actively chose not to use it because proof was more restrictive and punitive damages less.  So it's her own bloody fault that she got nothing at all.

    Re: (none / 0) (#9)
    by day170209 on Tue Feb 17, 2009 at 03:14:00 PM EST