CIVIL RIGHTS BILL PASSES SENATE
WASHINGTON — The long-debated civil rights bill that would make it easier for minorities and women to sue over employment discrimination is on its way to the House following overwhelming approval in the Senate.The legislation, passed by the Senate 93 to 5 Wednesday, was expected to pass quickly and intact in the House. President Bush has agreed to sign it. The bill is designed to overcome a series of 1989 Supreme Court rulings that made it more difficult for minorities and women to fight employment discrimination, including harassment, in the workplace. The bill, for the first time, includes punitive monetary damages for women, the disabled, and religious minorities who are the victims of intentional discrimination. The bill, however, places caps on punitive damages awarded to women.