Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act renews a worker’s right to sue for wage discrimination within six months of every unfair paycheck, not just the first.  The legislation was spurred by the case of Lily Ledbetter, a lifelong employee of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, who became aware that the company had, for decades, consistently paid her less than her equivalent male colleagues. A jury found her employer guilty of pay discrimination, but the conservative wing of the Supreme Court overturned the case, 5-4, because she hadn’t sued within 180 days of the date of the first discriminatory paycheck. (This would have been impossible, of course, because Ledbetter only became aware of the injustice after it had been happening for decades.) The Act overturns the Court’s decision. 

Cry Wolf Quotes

The new law would pretty clearly restart the time clock for filing the claim when an employee receives a retirement benefit, a pension benefit, even an (employee stock ownership plan payment). In doing so, the Ledbetter Act exposes employers to endless liability…[it is an] unprecedented expansion [of employment law].

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Michael Layman of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Inc.Com.

The only ones who will see an increase in pay are some of the trial lawyers who bring the cases.

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Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) quoted in “How Dumb Are We? How long will women shoulder the blame for the pay gap?” in Slate.

When disagreements and disputes in the workplace fester and potential damage amounts increase, compromise and cooperation become far more difficult. Ms. Ledbetter claimed, however, that she was entitled by a special ‘paycheck rule’ applicable only to claims of alleged pay discrimination, to sleep on her rights for decades before raising her concerns with the EEOC.

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Neal D. Mollen, counsel for Chamber of Commerce, testimony, House Committee on Education and Labor.

Barack Obama supports [new fair pay laws], notwithstanding that they would raise workforce costs in a recession….Whether or not the U.S. economy creates more income in the coming years, Congress is clearly determined to redistribute it.

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From the Wall Street Journal's “Trial Lawyer Bonanza: Off and suing with the 111th Congress."