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 Ledbetter Act would] impede justice and undermine the important goal of having allegations of discrimination expeditiously resolved.

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The Bush administration threatened to veto the act if it passed the Senate. Slate.com.

Eliminating this statute of limitation does not benefit the employees or employers. Instead, alleged discrimination could go undetected for many years, subjecting an increasing number of employees to wrongful actions. At the same time, employers would be forced to defend against an avalanche of decades-old, potentially frivolous claims. Prompt filing of claims allows employers to identify and, when necessary, to discipline those managers who may be violating the law.

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Jeri G. Kubicki, NAM’s Vice President Human Resources Policy, The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). Letter to Congress.

Well, that didn't take long. Democrats are planning to kick off the legislative portion of the 111th Congress as early as today with two big donations to one of their most loyal retainers: the plaintiffs bar….For the tort bar, this is pure gold. It would create a new legal business in digging up ancient workplace grievances…. Elections have consequences, and one price of November's vote is going to be a more powerful, and much richer, plaintiffs bar.

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

I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.....This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system.

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John McCain on the campaign trail.