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Supreme Court says 142-year-old civil rights law covers retaliation in race cases

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says workers who face retaliation after complaining about race discrimination may sue their employers under a Civil War-era law.

The court says in a 7-2 ruling that retaliation is another form of intentional, unlawful discrimination that is barred by the Civil Rights Act of 1866. It was enacted to benefit newly freed blacks.

Business groups objected that the law does not expressly prohibit retaliation and said employees should have to file suit under another law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That law has a shorter deadline for filing suit and caps the amount of money that a successful plaintiff may recover.

The Bush administration was on the side of the workers.

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