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ROBINSON v. DAVIS MEM. GOODWILL INDUS.

April 20, 1992

PEGGY ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVIS MEMORIAL GOODWILL INDUSTRIES, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: STANLEY SPORKIN

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

 This case comes before the Court on the Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend portions of the complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). *fn1" Because this Court finds that the compensatory damage and jury trial provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 apply retroactively to this case, the Court grants Plaintiff leave to amend the complaint to include such demands.

 Plaintiff is a former employee of Defendant Davis Memorial Goodwill ("Goodwill"). On May 13, 1991 she filed this action in federal court against Goodwill and several officers and supervisors at Goodwill. Plaintiff's complaint alleges that the Defendants intentionally discriminated against her because of her race and gender during her employment at Goodwill. She claims that she was eventually terminated on that basis in violation of federal law. See 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq..

 In her complaint Plaintiff requested that the Court award Plaintiff backpay and reinstate her to her former position, the remedies then permitted under Title VII. Subsequently, on November 21, 1991 the President signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (the "Act"). The Act as amended permits a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages in Title VII suits. Plaintiff has now moved that this Court permit her to amend the complaint to include demands for a jury trial and for compensatory damages. *fn2"

 DISCUSSION

 Section 402 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 provides as follows:

 Sec. 402. Effective Date

 (a) In General -- Except as otherwise specifically provided, this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect upon enactment.

 There are two specific exceptions to this provision, providing that certain provisions apply only prospectively. First, in Section 109, protecting extraterritorial employment, subsection c provides that, "The amendments made by this section shall not apply with respect to conduct occurring before the date of the enactment of this Act." Second, Section 402(b) provides:

 (b) Certain Disparate Impact Cases. -- Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, nothing in this Act shall apply to any disparate impact case for which a complaint was filed before March 1, 1975, and for which an initial decision was rendered after October 30, 1983.

 Besides these two specific exceptions, neither of which is at issue in this case, Section 402(a) governs the effective date of the Act.

 The specific issue before this Court is whether Section 102 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 applies to a case pending at the time of its enactment. That section designates the remedies available in intentional discrimination cases and governs when such cases may be tried before a jury and when a judge must hear a case. In relevant part it provides:

 Sec. 102. Damages in Cases of Intentional Discrimination.

 (a) Right of Recovery --

 (1) Civil Rights.--In an action brought by a complaining party under section 706 or 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e-5) against a respondent who engaged in intentional discrimination . . . the complaining party may recover compensatory and punitive damages as allowed in subsection (b) in addition to any relief authorized by section 706(g) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, from the respondent.

 [Section 102(b) provides for compensatory and punitive damages up to certain caps in such actions but exempts from its scope punitive ...


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