During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to sign into law the Equal Remedies Act of 2007 "to do away with the caps on compensatory and punitive damages under Title VII that presently impede the ability of victims of racial and gender discrimination to fully recover for the wrongs they have suffered."
Currently, compensatory and punitive damages for intentional violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act are capped based on the size of the employer at $50,000 to $300,000. The Equal Remedies Act -- first introduced in 2007 as a stand-alone bill and later incorporated into the Civil Rights Act of 2008 -- would have lifted those caps, providing greater compensation for plaintiffs alleging discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
A change would also pose greater financial risk for employers, which created strong opposition within the business community. The changes were sought by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. All of the bills' co-sponsors were Democrats.
Neither version of the bill went anywhere in the previous Congress, and while some analysts had expected a new version to be proposed in the current Congress, a search through THOMAS, the online source for congressional bills, has turned up no evidence that one has yet been offered.
If a bill is introduced, we would shift this promise to In the Works. But for now, we'll call it Stalled.