Eliminate caps on damages for discrimination cases
Will sign into law the Equal Remedies Act of 2007 "to do away with the caps on compensatory and punitive damages under Title VII that presently impede the ability of victims of racial and gender discrimination to fully recover for the wrongs they have suffered."
No change in law eliminating caps
Updated: Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 | By Molly Moorhead
The Equal Remedies Act of 2007 would have eliminated caps on damages in discrimination cases "that presently impede the ability of victims of racial and gender discrimination to fully recover for the wrongs they have suffered.” The bill briefly returned the next year as a provision of the Civil Rights Act of 2008, which was introduced in the Senate but had no companion in the House.
Since then, we find no sign of it. No new version of the Equal Remedies Act was introduced in the 111th Congress (covering the years 2009 and 2010). Same goes for the current Congress.
Eliminating caps on damages in employment discrimination cases is an effort that has faded away. We'll revisit this if we find new evidence, but for now we rate it a Promise Broken.
Extensive searches of THOMAS, the Library of Congress website, Dec. 17 & 18, 2012
THOMAS, Civil Rights Act of 2008, introduced Jan. 24, 2008
Bill introduced in previous Congress is a no-show so far
Updated: Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 | By Louis Jacobson
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to sign into law the Equal Remedies Act of 2007 "to do away with the caps on compensatory and punitive damages under Title VII that presently impede the ability of victims of racial and gender discrimination to fully recover for the wrongs they have suffered."
Currently, compensatory and punitive damages for intentional violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act are capped based on the size of the employer at $50,000 to $300,000. The Equal Remedies Act -- first introduced in 2007 as a stand-alone bill and later incorporated into the Civil Rights Act of 2008 -- would have lifted those caps, providing greater compensation for plaintiffs alleging discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
A change would also pose greater financial risk for employers, which created strong opposition within the business community. The changes were sought by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. All of the bills' co-sponsors were Democrats.
Neither version of the bill went anywhere in the previous Congress, and while some analysts had expected a new version to be proposed in the current Congress, a search through THOMAS, the online source for congressional bills, has turned up no evidence that one has yet been offered.
If a bill is introduced, we would shift this promise to In the Works. But for now, we'll call it Stalled.
Jones, Day, "
Significant Labor and Employment Initiatives of the Obama Administration and 111th Congress
," January 2009
Epstein, Becker, Green, "The End of Caps? Equal Remedies Act Debated in Congress" ( legal analysis ), April 25, 2008
We want to hear your suggestions and comments.
For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.
Keep up to date with Politifact :
- Sign up for our e-mail (about once a week)
- Put a free PolitiFact widget on your blog or Web page
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Truth-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on GOP Pledge-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Obameter items
- Advertise on PolitiFact
- Shop the PolitiFact store for T-shirts, hats and other PolitiFact swag