BIPARTISAN GROUP INTRODUCES SENATE BILL TO REVERSE CONTROVERSIAL LEDBETTER PAY DECISION

by Patricia A. Schaeffer, Vice President-Regulatory Affairs

UPDATE: The House bill passed on July 31, 2007.

On July 20, 2007, a bipartisan group of fourteen Senators introduced a bill (“The Fair Pay Restoration Act”) to overturn the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

The controversial decision in Ledbetter held that a discrimination claim must be filed within the limitations period of an unfair pay decision. The decision significantly narrowed the scope of pay discrimination cases.

The bill was introduced by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Its protection would extend to pay discrimination based on race, national origin, gender, religious, age or disability, according to a statement announcing the introduction of the bill. The bill would not require employers to make up salary differences that occurred decades ago, according to the statement, and it would retain the current two-year limit on back pay.

The House Education and Labor Committee approved a similar bill (H.R. 2831) on June 27, 2007. This bill is awaiting action by the full House.

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