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June 22, 1990 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-06-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Jewish Leader Urges
Action On Civil Rights

SUSAN GRANT

Staff Writer

A

merican Jewish Con-
gress Washington
representative Mark
Pelavin urged local black
and Jewish community
leaders to show their support
for the Civil Rights Act of
1990.
Pelavin, who is the liaison
between the AJCongress
and the White House, Con-
gress, federal agencies and
other national organizations
based in Washington, D.C.,
spoke at a breakfast meeting
June 18 sponsored by the
Jewish Community Council,
the Detroit Association of
Black Organizations and the
Greater Detroit Chapter of
the AJCongress.
Discussing national issues
which affect both Jews and
blacks, Pelavin gave an up-
date on the civil rights act
which was introduced in
both the House of Represen-
tatives and the Senate in
February.
The legislation is designed
to remedy the effects of
several recent Supreme
Court decisions which lim-
ited federal laws guarantee-
ing equal employment op-
portunities for minority and
female employees.
If approved, the bill would
bar discrimination based on
race, gender or religion in
hiring, promotion, on-the-job
treatment and termination
of employment and restore
the burden of proof to the
employer to demonstrate a
legitimate business neces-
sity for an action which
seems discriminatory. The
civil rights act would also set
a limit on how long court-
approved out-of-court set-
tlements can be challenged
by individuals not involved
in the original lawsuit and
re-establish a time period
where employees could file
discrimination claims
against a seniority system.
Although the House
Judiciary Committee is still
considering the bill, it
should reach the Senate
floor in a few weeks, Pelavin
said. The legislation has 48
co-sponsors in the Senate in-
cluding Michigan Democrats
Carl Levin and Donald
Riegle.
A coalition of religious,
legal, labor and women's
organizations have express-
ed support for the bill,
Pelavin said.
However, the bill is oppos-
ed by businesses who fear

Mark Pelavin:
Bill needs help.

the civil rights act will
result in more discrimina-
tion lawsuits and conser-
vatives who believe equal
rights can best be handled
on an individual basis,
Pelavin said.
Businesses fear they "will
be forced to adopt quota
systems," he said. "But that
did not happen under the old
standard and it will not
happen under the new stan-
dard."
Joining the opposition is
President George Bush, who
calls the legislation a quota
bill which would hurt busi-
nesses.
"George Bush is no Ronald
Reagan," Pelavin said. "As
a member of Congress he
had a good record for civil
rights. But he is not ready to
sign the bill."
President Bush is proud of
his popularity rating of 65
percent with the black com-
munity, Pelavin said.
Although President Bush
doesn't want to jeopardize
his standing, not signing the
civil rights act would do
that.
Pelavin urged both black
and Jewish leaders to make
sure that if the bill is vetoed,
there will be the necessary
two-thirds vote in the House
of Representatives to over-
ride it. No bill vetoed by
Bush has been overridden by
Congress.
Pelavin also urged Jews
and blacks to continue to
work on social legislation.
He mentioned health care,
more federally financed
housing for the homeless,
and other issues affecting
both minority groups, in-
cluding the rising popularity
of Louisiana's David Duke
who has ties to white
supremacist groups.



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