Employment Alert: Obama Signs Ledbetter Act; Congress Continues to Debate Paycheck Fairness Act


Today, President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.1 The Ledbetter Act is a Congressional response to a 2007 Supreme Court decision, Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which significantly limited the ability of plaintiffs to recover back pay in certain circumstances.2 Ledbetter arose when, after 19 years of employment with Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Ms. Ledbetter learned that she had been earning substantially less than her male counterparts. She sued, asserting a disparate pay claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Supreme Court held that the statute-of-limitations period began to run on the day compensation is first set, not on the day of the most recent paycheck as the plaintiff had argued. As a result, the Supreme Court found that the 180-day statute of limitations applicable to Title VII claims barred Ms. Ledbetter’s claim in full.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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