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New Law Strengthens Employee Protections Against Pay Discrimination

On January 27, 2009, President Obama Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-2), restoring major protection to employees suffering from pay discrimination. The new law reversed the Supreme Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., 550 U.S. 618 (2007). Ledbetter had barred employees from filing claims of pay discrimination unless the employer had made an intentionally discriminatory pay-setting decision within the relevant filing deadlines (180 or 300 days for private sector and state/local government employees, depending on the state; 45 days for federal employees). The new law reversed this requirement, and allows employees to challenge pay discrimination so long as the employee has received a discriminatorily-reduced paycheck with the applicable filing deadline. As a result, employees who might only have learned about discriminatory disparities in pay long after the pay-setting decision had occurred may now potentially be able to seek a remedy through the EEO process. The new law extends this employee protection to discrimination on the bases of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability and reprisal for prior protected EEO activity. Further, the new statute is retroactive, restoring the claims of employees dating back to the date of Ledbetter decision which had previously been barred by the Supreme Court's decision. 

If you believe that you may have been the victim of pay discrimination on the bases of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability and reprisal for prior protected EEO activity, contact Passman & Kaplan, P.C., Attorneys at Law, in Washington, D.C.

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