S. Amir Kohan

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (2009)

This was the first piece of legislation signed by President Barack Obama after he was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States. It was passed in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc., 550 U.S.
618 (2007).

This law amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and states that the clock will begin running anew each time an illegal act of discrimination is experienced by an employee.

In Lilly Ledbetter’s situation, her pay was less than that for men doing the same job. The old law didn’t permit her to succeed in her complaint of discrimination because she failed to file 20 years earlier on the first occasion of her receiving a paycheck for less than her male counterparts. Under the new law, the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new paycheck affected by that discriminatory action. For more information, see www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/ epa_ledbetter.cfm.


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