Cosponsor S. 3317, H.R. 5978 the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act (EEORA)
Advocacy Letter - 06/21/12
Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. Senate & U.S. House of Representatives
On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 210 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, we urge you to cosponsor S. 3317, the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act (EEORA) introduced by Senator Al Franken (D-MN). Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) has introduced a companion bill in the House. The EEORA would remove the obstacles the Supreme Court placed in the way of American workers seeking to have their day in court to challenge discrimination in the workplace.
One year ago, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, which erected significant barriers to employees’ rights to bring class actions under our nation’s nondiscrimination laws. Betty Dukes, a Wal-Mart greeter, was demoted and had her pay cut because of discriminatory pay and promotion practices that were occurring throughout the company. In response to this discrimination, female employees from around the country joined together to file a class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart. The Court held, however, that the women of Wal-Mart were not considered a class and, therefore, were not eligible to present the wide array of evidence of discrimination. The Court’s ruling has set a precedent that closes the courtroom door to groups of workers who have faced discrimination, making it more difficult for these workers to seek redress and get justice.
The EEORA eliminates the most harmful provisions of the Wal-Mart v. Dukes decision. The law focuses on workplace discrimination claims falling under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Under this legislation:
- Employees could band together and file group action lawsuits to challenge unfair treatment in the workplace.
- Workers could challenge subjective employment practices (hiring, firing, promotion, or pay based on anything other than an objective assessment of performance) that are discriminatory; and
- Judges would have discretion to make certain that workers are granted the necessary compensation and remedies when claims of discrimination are proven.
Without the passage of this legislation, individual lawsuits by workers could clog the courts or workers could be discouraged from filing claims altogether due to the cost of litigation or the fear of retaliation from the company.
Protecting the civil and human rights of hardworking Americans throughout the country should be of the upmost importance to Congress, and this bill is an essential step toward ensuring that all workers are treated fairly in the workplace. Your support for the Equal Employment Opportunity Restoration Act is critical to its passage and we urge you to cosponsor this vital legislation. To become a cosponsor, please contact Joshua Riley in
Senator Franken’s office at Joshua_Riley@Judiciary-dem.senate.gov or (202) 224-1031. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Senior Counsel Lisa Bornstein at Bornstein@civilright.org or (202) 263-2856. Thank you for your consideration of this critical legislation.
President & CEO
Executive Vice President