Thursday, January 29, 2009

President Obama signs first legislation of his term --Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

President Obama signed the first legislation of his presidency today. Among the attendees at the signing were Lilly Ledbetter

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act extends employees’ opportunity to challenge allegedly discriminatory pay practices under Title VII and other anti-discrimination statutes.

What's important about this Act?

Under the new Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, each allegedly discriminatory paycheck triggers a new 180- or 300-day statute of limitations, thus extending employees’ opportunity to sue to the entire duration of their employment.

It basically reverses the result of a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving Ms. Ledbetter. The decision stated that employees were required to file an EEOC charge within 180 or 300 days (depending on the state) of the first time an allegedly discriminatory pay decision was made.

(Ms. Ledbetter, a 20-year employee of Goodyear Tire Co. for 20 years, had sued her employer in 1998 after she discovered she was paid less than her male counterparts for similar work. She had not learned of the possible discrimination over the years years because Goodyear employees were not allowed to discuss their salaries.
Although a jury awarded Ms. Ledbetter more than $3 million in damages, the Supreme Court overruled that decision because it said she waited too long to file her case.)

I found this information on the White House site, in news articles in Factiva, and was alerted to it through a listserv.

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