Summary: H.R.4000 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (08/03/1990)

Civil Rights Act of 1990 - Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide that: (1) once a complainant has demonstrated that an employment practice results in a disparate impact on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, the respondent has the burden of proving that the practice is justified by business necessity; (2) a complainant need not demonstrate which of a group of practices results in the demonstrated disparate impact; and (3) a respondent need not show business necessity for a specific practice within a group of practices if the respondent shows that that practice does not contribute to the disparate impact.

Provides that if the court finds that the complainant can identify from the respondent's available records or other information which specific practice or practices contributed to the disparate impact: (1) the complainant must demonstrate which specific practice or practices contributed to such impact; and (2) the respondent must show a business necessity for such practice. Declares that if a complainant demonstrates that a different employment practice or group of employment practices with less disparate impact would serve the respondent as well, the existing practice or group of practices causing a disparate impact, notwithstanding demonstrated business necessity, shall be unlawful.

Makes a rule barring the employment of an individual who currently and knowingly uses or possesses an illegal drug, except in certain circumstances, an unlawful employment practice under this Act only if such rule is adopted or applied with an intent to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

States that the mere existence of a statistical imbalance in an employer's workforce on account of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is not alone sufficient to establish a prima facie case of disparate impact violation.

Declares that an unlawful employment practice is established on a demonstration that race, color, religion, sex, or national origin was a contributing factor for any employment practice, even though such practice was also contributed to by other factors, but bars certain types of relief if the respondent establishes that it would have taken the same action in the absence of any discrimination.

Provides that damages may be awarded only for injury that is attributable to the unlawful employment.

Prohibits a challenge to an employment practice that implements a litigated or consent judgment or order resolving a claim of employment discrimination: (1) by a person who had certain types of notice and opportunity; (2) by a person whose interests were adequately represented by another person who challenged the judgment or order; or (3) if reasonable efforts were made to provide notice to interested persons.

Increases to two years the time limit within which a charge of an unlawful employment practice must be filed. Removes provisions setting a separate time limit for charges initially filed with a State or local agency.

Declares that a seniority system or practice which is part of a collective bargaining agreement is an unlawful employment practice if it was included in the agreement with the intent to discriminate.

Allows, with respect to certain unlawful employment practices, including certain unlawful employment practice cases under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, for compensatory damages (but not back pay) and, where there is malice, reckless, or callous indifference, for punitive damages. Makes compensatory and punitive damages and jury trials available only for claims of intentional discrimination. Permits any party, where compensatory or punitive damages are sought, to demand a jury trial.

Sets forth a limit on the award of punitive damages.

Includes expert fees and other litigation expenses in any attorney's fees awarded. Prohibits a consent order or judgment settling a claim unless the parties and their counsel attest that a waiver of attorneys' fees was not compelled as a condition of the settlement. Allows to the prevailing party in the original action an award of attorney's fees and costs in defending a challenged judgment or order.

Increases to 90 days after final action by a Federal agency the time limit for a Federal employee to bring a civil action. Allows to Federal employees the same interest to compensate for delay in payment as in cases involving non-public parties, except that prejudgment interest may not be awarded on compensatory damages.

Requires Federal civil rights laws to be broadly construed to effect their purpose to provide equal opportunity and effective remedies.

Prohibits the courts and administrative agencies, in interpreting Federal civil rights laws, from relying on the amendments made by this Act as a basis for limiting the theories of liability, rights, and remedies available under civil rights laws not expressly amended by it.

Declares that, for purposes of provisions relating to equal rights under the law, the right to make and enforce contracts includes the making, performance, modification, and termination of contracts, and the enjoyment of all benefits, privileges, terms, and conditions of the contractual relationship.

Declares that the rights protected by this Act are protected against impairment by non-governmental discrimination as well as against impairment under color of State law.

Provides that the rights and protections under provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 shall apply with respect to fair employment practices in the House of Representatives pursuant to H.Res. 558 of the 100th Congress and H.Res. 15 of the 101st Congress.

Amends the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 to increase to two years the time limit within which an age discrimination charge must be filed. Requires the Commission to notify the complainant of his or her right to sue if such charge is dismissed.

Encourages the use of alternative means of dispute resolution to resolve disputes arising under the Acts amended by this Act.