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An Interesting Idea: making law by contract

The New York Times Magazine, in its annual "Year in Ideas" issue, included this idea:

For a decade now, Congress has declined to pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which would make it illegal for companies to fire or demote on the basis of sexual orientation. And yet some of the nation's biggest companies, including AT&T, I.B.M. and General Mills, say they'd be happy to abide by the legislation. The Yale Law School professor Ian Ayres and his wife, the Quinnipiac University School of Law professor Jennifer Gerarda Brown, wonder: Why wait for Congress to pass a law when you can, in effect, do it yourself?

In their book "Straightforward: How to Mobilize Heterosexual Support for Gay Rights," Ayres and Brown present a plan for partly enacting ENDA without Congress's help. Their Fair Employment mark is a seal of approval - think of the Orthodox Union's imprimatur that a product is kosher - mated to a novel legal scheme that would effectively privatize this area of antidiscrimination law.

For the remainder of the article, go to The Fair Employment Mark - New York Times.

So far the idea has not caught on, but let's see if it picks up steam. Here is the agreement that any company can sign to adopt the Fair Employment mark.

This entry was posted by Edward at 6:55 PM, 12 December 2005 | Categories: Recent news

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The picture above was made in 1914 by the Birmingham Engraving Co. This reproduction is from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

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