Statutes on Other Subjects

Author:George Rutherglen

Federal statutes regulating other subjects have occasionally been interpreted to prohibit discrimination in employment. The most important of these are the National Labor Relations Act[944] and the Railway Labor Act.[945] These prohibit discrimination on the basis of race and sex, and probably also on the basis of religion and national origin, by unions certified to represent employees in collective bargaining.[946]

They do not, however, prevent certification of a union that has engaged in discrimination.[947] The prohibitions against discrimination in collective bargaining agreements fostered by these statutes provide a more important remedy for employment discrimination, enforced through the grievance and arbitration procedures commonly found in such agreements.[948] The National Labor Relations Act also contains a special provision to accommodate employees who have religious ob184-88 (2002) (punitive damages cannot be awarded against state agencies under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act in claims modeled on Title VI). jections to paying dues to a union pursuant to a union security clause.[949]

The availability of implied remedies under other statutes has been limited by the Supreme Court's decision in NAACP v. Federal Power Commission.[950] The Court held that agencies regulating other subjects, such as the rates for the sale and transmission of gas and electricity, could consider claims of employment discrimination only as they affected the employer's ability to comply with the statute administered by the agency. This decision reinforces...

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