Title VII of the civil rights act after 50 years: proceedings of the new york university 67th annual conference on labor



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, EEOC, May, 1, 2013, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/5-1-13b.cfm (last visited Jul. 26, 2015).

139 See Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 U.S.C. §1981 (2012) (stating, commensurate with the employer’s number of employee’s (14 or fewer up to more than 500), compensatory damages must be capped at $50,000, $100,000, $200,000 or $300,000). See U.S. E.E.O.C. Closing the Gaps - Making Title VII More Effective for All: Damages, Jury Trials, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, June 30, 2004, available at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/history/40th/panel/closinggaps.html (observing that the Civil Rights Act of 1991’s addition of compensatory and punitive damages to the panoply of remedies available to victims of intentional discrimination was game-changer, though the damages are caped, calibrated with the size of the employer). However, 1991 was the last time the damages caps were adjusted for, making the current standard for damages inexorably outdated and arguably corporate-friendly. See also Lynn Ridgeway Zehrt, Twenty Years of Compromise: How the Caps on Damages in the Civil Rights Act of 1991 Codified Sex Discrimination, 25 Yale J.L. & Feminism 249, 316 (2014) (arguing for elimination of the statutory caps that currently “undermine Title VII's effectiveness [thus,] eliminating the two-tiered approach to damages, [and demonstrating a] clear commitment to eradicating sex discrimination”). It is worth noting that the present value of the Henry’s Turkey’s verdict in 1991 is .67 of the original verdict. Consider that the purchasing value of $300,000 in 1991 is the equivalent of $521,000 today. See Measuring Worth, http://www.measuringworth.com/uscompare/relativevalue.php (last visited Jul. 21, 2015). Yet, the statutory caps have not been raised since their adoption in 1991. To illustrate the vintage of the caps, in 1991, the Soviet Union had just dissolved, Baywatch was one of the most popular TV shows, digital pagers just gaining traction and Justin Bieber, Mylie Cyrus and Selena Gomez had not yet been born. See Rabecca Hoffman, Remembering the Year: 1991, New York Public Library, May 9, 2011, http://www.nypl.org/blog/2011/05/09/remembering-year-1991; 20 Tanner Greenring, Incredibly Famous People Who Were Born in the 90’s, Buzzfeed, Mar. 27, 2013, 1:09 P.M., http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/incredibly-famous-people-who-were-born-in-the-90s#.yvqBMrMgl (last visited Jul. 26, 2015). Henry’s Turkey’s in one of a rapidly growing list of jury verdicts won by the EEOC and other plaintiffs reduced under the nearly twenty-five-year-old caps. See, e.g., Harris Farms, New Breed, Mid-American, Chuck E. Cheese, Go Daddy, and many, many more.

140 Emma Dessau, The Men of Atalissa, PBS, March 8, 2014 (interviewing Kassie Bracken & Dan Barry), http://www.pbs.org/pov/blog/povdocs/2014/03/the-men-of-atalissa-watch-the-documentary-go-behind-the-story-with-journalists-from-the-new-york-times/ (collaborating with the New York Times to produce a documentary on the Hill Country Farms case); Yuki Noguchi, A ‘Wake-Up Call’ to Protect Vulnerable Workers from Abuse, NPR, May 16, 2013, available at http://www.npr.org/2013/05/16/184491463/disabled-workers-victory-exposes-risks-to-most-vulnerable.

141 Barry, supra note 133.

142 Id.

143 There are few prohibitions enforced by the EEOC that have not been discussed in this article including color discrimination, under Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Equal Pay Act (EPA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). See U.S. E.E.O.C., EEOC Compliance Manual on Race and Color Discrimination, Apr. 19, 2006, available at http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/race-color.html (last visited Jul. 26, 2015); Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 81 Stat. 602, (codified as amended, 29 U.S.C. §621 et seq.); Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Pub. L. No. 111-2, § 3, 123 Stat. 5, 5-6 (2009) (codified at 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5 (2006) and scattered sections of 29 U.S.C.); GINA, Pub. L. No. 110-233, 122 Stat. 881 (2008) (codified at scattered sections of 42, 29 and 26 U.S.C.).

144 The sometimes deified images of both King and Chavez, reflected in state holiday celebrations for both and a national holiday for King, have served to rally a younger generation of social activists and enshrine them as part of a greater pantheon of “American heroes.” But as with other “historical heroes,” several revisionists approach their subjects with full humanity and complexity perhaps elevating further the scope of their accomplishments. See generally David Garrow, supra note 125; Dante Ramos, “I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr. by Michael Eric Dyson, Salon, Dec. 24, 1999 12:00 PM, http://www.salon.com/1999/12/24/dyson_2/ (last visited Jul. 26, 2015).

145 We seem to have come full circle in recent history, evidenced by President Obama’s commemoration of the March on Washington in 2013 and most recently, his eulogy in Charleston, South Carolina. Michiko Kakutani, Obama’s Eulogy, Which Found Its Place in History, NYTimes, Jul. 3, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/04/arts/obamas-eulogy-which-found-its-place-in-history.html?src=me&module=Ribbon&version=context®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Most%20Emailed&pgtype=Blogs (last visited Jul. 26, 2015).

146 Robert Caro, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The passage of power, 176 (2012). See also Doris Kearns Goodwin, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream (1991).

147 Caro, supra note 146, at 176. See Robert Dallek, Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and his Times, 1961-1973 4 (1998) (“LBJ’s father, was a hard-driving, grandiose character whose two terms in the Texas lower house and activism in local politics only partly satisfied his reach for public influence. Rebekah Baines, LBJ’s mother, took pride in her prominent Texas ancestors and expected her oldest son to reach heights worthy of her family’s heritage.”).

148 President’s Johnson’s Special Message to the Congress: The American Promise, Mar. 15, 1965 LBJ Presidential Library, http://www.lbjlibrary.org/lyndon-baines-johnson/speeches-films/president-johnsons-special-message-to-the-congress-the-american-promise (last visited Jul. 26, 2015).

149 President John F. Kennedy, Excerpt from a Report to the American People on Civil Rights, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, June 11, 1963, http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/LH8F_0Mzv0e6Ro1yEm74Ng.aspx (last visited Aug. 2, 2015).

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