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Civil Rights Act of 2008

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The Civil Rights Act of 2008

The most important characteristic of the law is interpretation. Congress writes the law and the courts interpret it. Depending on how it is written, unforeseen outcomes may occur. The way the Civil Rights Act was previously written led the members of the Supreme Court to interpret it in ways that were unfortunate to employees, thus creating a need for change. The Civil Rights Act of 2008 was created to address various issues in the workplace. Democrats introduced this new legislation in order to reinforce fundamental civil rights protections that have diminished over time by the courts. President Obama and the majority of the Democratic Party wanted to ensure that employee's rights were not being violated. When this bill was created, it covered a vast amount of previously defined legislation.

One of the changes of the CRA of 2008 would be to create an easier way for students to file sexual harassment claims against educational institutions accepting federal funds. Under Title IX, Supreme Court decisions pertaining to sexual harassment restrict educational institutions' liability to specific instances of harassment. They must have had actual notice, acted with intentional neutrality, and the instances of sexual harassment were so violent and extensive that the student could not participate in class, labs, or other educational programs. The CRA would instead allow the victim to attempt for money damages against the institution unless the institution can prove it conducted "reasonable care" or the student "unreasonable failed to take advantage" of opportunities offered by the institution that could have corrected or prevented the harm.

Another change brought by the CRA is to hold employers responsible for age discrimination. The CRA of 2008 will require state employers to give employees complete relief for age discrimination. In addition, the act explains the guidelines for employment practices discriminating based on age that have been an issue in the past. The act will also clarify principles regarding unjustified or discriminatory matters of race, color, ethnicity, religion and gender. One more group of changes brought by the CRA of 2008 is correcting misbehaviors and negligence of Civil Rights and Workers' Rights. It offers relief for undocumented workers who suffer from violations of employment and labor laws.

Almost every aspect of the Civil Rights Act of 2008 will require change for employers. It is, in essence, a "pro-employee" act. Since the Act was designed to give employees more definite and concrete guidelines on how they are to be treated, both employees and employers will see change. Employers will not be allowed to require workers to sacrifice their rights to enforce employment laws in court. Since the bill requires the elimination of damages caps and widespread expansions



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