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Ledbetter legislation passes House, on to President Obama

The House just voted 250-177 to pass S. 181, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a mostly partyline vote (roll call here). This is the bill that supporters say is necessary to correct the Supreme Court's reading of discrimination law (Title VI of the Civil Rights Act) in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature; the White House over the weekend reiterated his full-bore support for the bill.

By lifting all statutes of limitations on employment discrimination suits, the new law will subject employers to many more speculative discrimination lawsuits. That said, organized labor and the activist grievance industry have been the more vocal supporters. Trial lawyers have mostly stayed quiet, a good move in terms of selling the bill politically.

Note the effective date:


This Act, and the amendments made by this Act, take effect as if enacted on May 28, 2007 and apply to all claims of discrimination in compensation under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq.), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.), title I and section 503 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and sections 501 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, that are pending on or after that date.

May 28th? The Supreme Court issued its Ledbetter ruling on May 29, 2007, so Lilly Ledbetter's suit was still pending then. So does she get another shot at her lawsuit?

Earlier posts here.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.