Administration’s Statement on Ledbetter Pay Act

By July 31, 2007General

The White House has indicated its intention of vetoing H.R. 2831, the Ledbetter Pay Act, if it comes to the President’s desk. From the Statement of Administration Policy (.pdf):

H.R. 2831 purports to undo the Supreme Court’s decision of May 29, 2007, in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. by permitting pay discrimination claims to be brought within 180 days not of a discriminatory pay decision, which is the rule under current law, but rather within 180 days of receiving any paycheck affected by such a decision, no matter how far in the past the underlying act of discrimination allegedly occurred. As a result, this legislation effectively eliminates any time requirement for filing a claim involving compensation discrimination. Allegations from thirty years ago or more could be resurrected and filed in federal courts.

Moreover, the bill far exceeds the stated purpose of undoing the Court’s decision in Ledbetter by extending the expanded statute of limitations to any “other practice” that remotely affects an individual’s wages, benefits, or other compensation in the future. This could effectively waive the statute of limitations for a wide variety of claims (such as promotion and arguably even termination decisions) traditionally regarded as actionable only when they occur.

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