The U.S.' long history of pay inequity contributed to the
momentous civil rights movement that sparked the enactment of the
Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Civil Rights Act of 1964. With the
signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Jan. 29, President
Obama solidified the country's commitment to "equal pay for equal
work" and forever altered the manner in which pay discrimination
claims are litigated. You must now learn to grapple with the
powerful text of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act or pay the
The act expressly amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Age
Discrimination in Employment Act and makes its provisions
applicable to claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA) and Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In doing so, the act
extends the statute of limitations for pay discrimination claims,
expands the definition of unlawful pay practices and broadens the
scope of people permitted to file claims.
On June 2, 2007, the House Committee on Labor and Education
introduced the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 2831). On July 31,
2007, the bill passed the House and moved to the Senate, where it
remained dormant until late April 2008 and ultimately was defeated
by a filibuster vote of 56-42. The act was reintroduced as H.R. 11
in the House Jan. 6 and hurriedly passed Jan. 9 by a vote of
247-171. Similarly, the act was reintroduced in the Senate Jan. 8
as S.R. 181 and passed Jan. 22 by a vote of 61-36. The House
reaffirmed its support of the bill by clearing it for a second time
The act applies retroactively to pay discrimination claims
pending on or after May 28, 2007, the day before the controversial
Supreme Court decision was issued in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire
& Rubber Co. Now that the act is law, you should brace
yourself for the expected onslaught of costly lawsuits from current
and former employees alleging years of...
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