Senate Defeats Fair Pay Restoration Act: Ledbetter Reigns

In 2007, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a female employee who was paid less than her male counterparts failed to timely file her discrimination suit because the disparate pay was instigated years before she actually found out about the pay differential. The court, in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the statute of limitations begins to run each time the employer issues a new paycheck with the disparate pay. Instead, the court decided that the discrimination occurred when the employer initially decided to pay the female employee less
than the male employees, even though the female employee had no idea she was being paid less.

The House immediately passed a bill to change the law, but the Senate version languished significantly longer. The Senate bill was defeated yesterday in a 56-42 vote (the bill required 60 votes to pass). According to the Wall Street Journal, “The outcome wasn’t a surprise, as Democrats acknowledged ahead of time that it was unlikely they would overcome Republican opposition.” As a result, the Ledbetter case continues to be the law. As it currently stands, employees who believe they are the victim of discrimination must file an administrative claim with the EEOC within 180 days (300 days in California) of the initial discriminatory decision, not within 180 days of the effect of the discriminatory act.

The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego
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Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman, former associate of The Law Office of Phillip J. Griego.
 

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