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May 29, 2008

National Legislative Update

Filed under: General HR Buzz9:20 am

Congress is now considering the Civil Rights Act of 2008 (S. 2554/H.R. 2159), which among other things would do the following:

Eliminate the present caps on damages that can be awarded against employers violating the discrimination laws.

Make it more difficult for an employer sued for alleged equal pay violations to show that its actions were based on a legitimate factor other than sex.

Limit the use of mandatory arbitration agreements only to those that are part of a collective bargaining agreement.

Allowing prevailing plaintiffs in employment cases to recover reimbursement of expert witness fees.

Permit back pay awards to undocumented immigrants when their employer violates the employment laws.

Congress is also considering a bill (H.R. 1643) requiring employers to provide up to fourteen days per year of unpaid leave for first responders (police, firefighters, etc.) involved when disasters strike. National SHRM has testified asking Congress to clarify various aspects of the proposed legislation.

Finally, SHRM is backing proposed legislation creating a new way for employers to check the work eligibility status of new hires. The New Employee Verification Act (H.R. 5515) would revamp the new hire registry system to allow its use in work eligibility verification in combination with unemployment compensation and Social Security databases.

As always keep checking HR News & Views for the latest HR news updates.


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