Senate Passes Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

On January 22, 2009, the Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by a vote of 61-36. In our January 9, 2009 blog posting, we reported that the Senate had passed the identical bill.

It is expected that President Obama will sign the new act this week. Indeed, President Obama expressed strong support for the bill during his campaign, and referred to it during the presidential debates. Despite some misrepresentations made by opponents of the new proposed law, the law does not permit those suing for pay discrimination to recover amounts they were denied decades ago. Rather, the proposed law permits individuals, who have just learned that they were the victims of pay discrimination based upon a decision made outside the statute of limitations, to benefit from a statute of limitations that is triggered upon the receipt of each discriminatory paycheck. Thus, each discriminatory paycheck triggers a new limitations period relating to that paycheck. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber , that was, in fact, the law. The proposed law supersedes the Supreme Court’s decision.

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