UPDATE: The House bill passed on July 31, 2007.
A bill to reverse the impact of the Supreme Court’s controversial pay discrimination ruling (Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.) has been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.).
The bill, known as the “Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007” (H.R. 2831), would amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 “to clarify that a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice that is unlawful under such Acts occurs each time compensation is paid pursuant to the discriminatory compensation decision or other practice, and for other purposes.”
The bill, which currently has 29 co-sponsors, is in the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Findings Made in H.R. 2831:
1. The Ledbetter decision undermines statutory protections by unduly restricting the time period in which victims of discrimination can challenge and recover for discriminatory compensation decisions or other practices.
2. The limitation on the filing of discriminatory compensation claims ignores the reality of wage discrimination and is “at odds” with the “robust” application of the civil rights laws that Congress intended.
3. Nothing in this bill is intended to preclude or limit an aggrieved person’s right to introduce evidence of unlawful employment practices that have occurred outside the time for filing a discrimination charge, “with regard to any charges of discrimination under any law.”
Key Provisions of H.R. 2831:
1. An unlawful employment practice occurs with respect to compensation discrimination “when a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice is adopted, when an individual becomes subject to a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice, or when an individual is affected by application of a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice, including each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid, resulting in whole or in part from such a decision or other practice.”
2. Similar or related instances of unlawful employment practices related to compensation discrimination can be challenged by the Commission, the Attorney General, or an aggrieved person after an aggrieved person files a charge without filing another EEOC charge.
3. Relief includes recovery of back pay for up to two years preceding the filing of the charge where the unlawful employment practices that have occurred during the charge filing period are similar or related to unlawful employment practices with regard to compensation discrimination that occurred outside the time for filing a charge.
By Patricia A. Schaeffer, Vice President-Regulatory Affairs