Tell Your Senators To Oppose S. 181, The Lily Ledbetter Act

On January 15, 2009, the Senate voted 74 to 23 to proceed with the Lily Ledbetter Act. I documented this and one other destructive piece of legislation in a previous blog entry here:

Gender Equity Frivoulous Lawsuits Will Once Again Jam Our Legal System
84rules
January 8, 2009

The Democrats in Congress are hell-bent on inflicting this wasteful, destructive legislation on us once again. The Lily Ledbetter Act opens the door wide for all kinds of lawsuits since the language of the bill permits anyone to be a vicitm of discrimination.

Remember back in the late 80’s when our court system was so jammed with frivolous lawsuits that hardened criminals were being set free simply because there was no space on the court dockets to try their cases and they were being held too long while waiting for a “speedy, public trial?” Well, the Lily Ledbetter Act and its companion, the Paycheck Fairness Act, are threatening to bring us back to those days.

According to Eagle Forum:

Please note that S. 181 is different than the House passed version of the Lilly Ledbetter bill, H.R. 11. S. 181 is worse. Not only will it overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company (2007), which upheld the timely filing of claims of alleged pay discrimination, S. 181 would also expand the class of potential plaintiffs to anyone “affected by” discrimination. A plausible reading of this language means a spouse or heir who receives pension checks and was not a victim of discrimination would have standing to file a lawsuit.

This is a dangerous addition to an already destructive bill. At a time when more than 11 million Americans are unemployed, the highest unemployment rate in sixteen years, these bills would expose large and small companies to vast new liabilities extending back decades. What our economy needs now is for businesses to hire more workers in America, but they are not going to do that if it means exposing themselves to expensive and frivolous litigation. The only things these two bills will stimulate are more litigation and a further exodus of jobs out of the United States.

The big concern here is that businesses will be more reluctant to hire workers, especially women or members of any other group that may try to take advantage of the poorly worded provisions of the Lily Ledbetter Act. I wouldn’t blame any business that did so.

Further, these two pieces of legislation would only serve to make some lawyers rich at the expense of the American consumer who would ultimately foot the bill for these frivolous lawsuits.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas has proposed an alternative piece of legislation. It is S. 166, the Title VII Fairness Act.

Please contact your Senators and ask them to oppose S. 181 and support S. 166.

You can reach your Senators on-line here:

Congressional Email Directory

And the Eagle Forum entry on-line here:

Senate To Vote On S. 181
Eagle Forum
January 19, 2008

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