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Administration on Bias Suits

March 10, 1991

The Bush Administration in Washington continues to demonstrate its insensitivity to civil rights.

After having vetoed the 1990 civil rights bill, it now launches an actual attack on Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the form of a new kind of yellow-dog contract. It seeks to have the law changed so as to allow employers to force workers to agree to give up their right to sue in court for having been discriminated against ("White House Backs Waivers of Bias Suits," front page, March 2).

The rationale given--that the law is needed "in light of the litigation crisis facing this country"--is both disingenuous and hypocritical. At the same time it professes concern for court congestion when it comes to the right of workers to sue for discrimination, the Administration applauds the use of the courts to allow white, male workers claiming "reverse discrimination" to challenge final affirmative action judgments which had been the subject of litigation years before. The rationale here? It would be unfair to deny a (second) day in court to such persons.

The Administration cannot be permitted to have it both ways. It is even more unfair to prevent a Latino or African-American or woman or others similarly situated from having even a first day in court when he or she is being discriminated against.

FRED OKRAND

Los Angeles

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