Text: S.166 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (01/07/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 166


To amend title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to clarify the filing period applicable to charges of discrimination, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 7, 2009

Mrs. Hutchison (for herself, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Burr, Mr. Alexander, Mr. Enzi, and Mr. Voinovich) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


A BILL

To amend title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to clarify the filing period applicable to charges of discrimination, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Title VII Fairness Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) Filing limitations periods serve important functions. They ensure that all claims are promptly raised and investigated, and, when remediation is warranted, that the violations involved are promptly remediated.

(2) Limitations periods are particularly important in employment situations, where unresolved grievances have a singularly corrosive and disruptive effect.

(3) Limitations periods are also particularly important for a statutory process that favors the voluntary resolution of claims through mediation and conciliation. Promptly raised issues are invariably more susceptible to such forms of voluntary resolution.

(4) In instances in which that voluntary resolution is not possible, a limitations period ensures that claims will be adjudicated on the basis of evidence that is available, reliable, and from a date that is proximate in time to the adjudication.

(5) Limitations periods, however, should not be construed to foreclose the filing of a claim by a reasonable person who exercises due diligence regarding the person's rights but who did not have, and should not have been expected to have, a reasonable suspicion that the person was the object of unlawful discrimination. Such a person should be afforded the full applicable limitation period to commence a claim from the time the person has, or should be expected to have, a reasonable suspicion of discrimination.

SEC. 3. Filing period for charges alleging unlawful employment practices.

Section 706(e) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–5(e)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(3)(A) This paragraph shall apply to a charge if—

“(i) the charge alleges an unlawful employment practice involving discrimination in violation of this title; and

“(ii) the person aggrieved demonstrates that the person did not have, and should not have been expected to have, enough information to support a reasonable suspicion of such discrimination, on the date on which the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred.

“(B) In the case of such a charge, the applicable 180-day or 300-day filing period described in paragraph (1) shall commence on the date when the person aggrieved has, or should be expected to have, enough information to support a reasonable suspicion of such discrimination.

“(C) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to change or modify the provisions of subsection (g)(1).

“(D) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to apply to a charge alleging an unlawful employment practice relating to the provision of a pension or a pension benefit.”.

SEC. 4. Filing period for charges alleging unlawful practices based on age.

Section 7(d) of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 626(d)) is amended—

(1) by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) as subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively;

(2) by striking “(d)” and inserting “(d)(1)”;

(3) in the third sentence, by striking “Upon” and inserting the following:

“(2) Upon”; and

(4) by adding at the end the following:

“(3)(A) This paragraph shall apply to a charge if—

“(i) the charge alleges an unlawful practice involving discrimination in violation of this Act; and

“(ii) the person aggrieved demonstrates that the person did not have, and should not have been expected to have, enough information to support a reasonable suspicion of such discrimination, on the date on which the alleged unlawful practice occurred.

“(B) In the case of such a charge, the applicable 180-day or 300-day filing period described in paragraph (1) shall commence on the date when the person aggrieved has, or should be expected to have, enough information to support a reasonable suspicion of such discrimination.

“(C) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to change or modify any remedial provision of this Act.

“(D) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to apply to a charge alleging an unlawful practice relating to the provision of a pension or a pension benefit.”.

SEC. 5. Application to other laws.

(a) Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.—Section 706(e)(3) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–5(e)(3)) shall apply (in the same manner as such section applies to a charge described in subparagraph (A)(i) of such section) to claims of discrimination brought under title I and section 503 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12111 et seq., 12203), pursuant to section 107(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 12117(a)), which adopts the powers, remedies, and procedures set forth in section 706 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–5).

(b) Conforming amendments.—

(1) CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964.—Section 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(f)(1) Subject to paragraph (2), section 706(e)(3) shall apply (in the same manner as such section applies to a charge described in subparagraph (A)(i) of such section) to complaints of discrimination under this section.

“(2) For purposes of applying section 706(e)(3) to a complaint under this section, a reference in section 706(e)(3)(B) to a filing period shall be considered to be a reference to the applicable filing period under this section.”.

(2) AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1967.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—Section 15(f) of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 633a(f)) is amended by striking “of section” and inserting “of sections 7(d)(3) and”.

(B) APPLICATION.—For purposes of applying section 7(d)(3) of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 626(d)(3)) to a complaint under section 15 of that Act (29 U.S.C. 633a), a reference in section 7(d)(3)(B) of that Act to a filing period shall be considered to be a reference to the applicable filing period under section 15 of that Act.