Congress Acts Aggressively to Strengthen Employment Protections, Fight Discrimination

December 2009Articles The Young Lawyer

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After years of inactivity in the employment law realm, Congress recently has developed a renewed interest in fighting workplace discrimination and strengthening employment protections for workers. Last year, President Bush signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008 into law. GINA makes it illegal for employers to acquire, disclose, or make employment decisions based on genetic information. Likewise, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 revises the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq., to broaden the class of individuals who qualify as disabled and are protected under ADA. This trend has continued under the current administration with President Obama extending the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq. to make it easier for plaintiffs to bring pay discrimination claims.

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