Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lilly Ledbetter and You

Okay with a name like that, you can understand why President Barack Obama enacted the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act as the first legislative act of his presidency. It is a righteous and laudatory beginning.

The law applies to discriminatory pay complaints and remedies under several current laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and portions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Providing for retroactive coverage effective May 28, 2007, the law overturns the frightening Supreme Court decision Ledbetter v. Good Year Tire & Rubber Co., extending filing deadlines for pay-bias complaints and clarifying the definition of a discriminatory employment practice. This also impacts the handling of closed and pending complaints and suits filed after the effective date. In addition,

Title VII maintains that employers must avoid any actions that may be viewed as retaliatory against employees involved in any portion of a wage discrimination complaint investigation.

"In practical terms," said Catherine Moreton Gray, J.D., managing editor, Human Resources at Business & Legal Reports, Inc. (BLR®), "the law eliminates the time limit within which an employee must file a complaint of pay discrimination as long as he or she continues on an employer's payroll. In other words, if a female employee had a supervisor 10 years ago that made pay decisions based on gender, causing her to be paid less than her male counterparts, and that pay inequity was not corrected in subsequent pay increases, each paycheck will start a new statute of limitations. This means the employee may file a charge of discrimination many years later when she learns of the discrepancy in pay."

To help employers understand the Fair Pay Act and its impact, BLR has made the following purchasable resources for employers or employees: available for purchase:
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: Take Action Now

Any discrimination is wrongful discrimination and any legal redress is a rightful assertion of legitimate grievances, no matter when it comes. Ask Rosa Parks.
The encouraging initiative by the President evokes a further sense of confidence that his future will be marked by other executive orders and Presidential decrees that put an end to legal wrongs committed by governmental hubris. Don’t ask me to start telling you which I think should come next. Because right now, I don’t ask, don’t tell.

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