Federal anti-discrimination law gives employees either 180 or 300 days (depending on the state they live in) from the time of an alleged unlawful practice to file an employment discrimination claim with the EEOC. A recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling solidified these limits. (Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire)
A bill pushed by Democrats this year would have changed the 180/300 days statute of limitation in pay discrimination cases in a more employee-friendly way. Specifically, it would have allowed employees to bring any pay discrimination claim within 180 days of their most recent paycheck.
The impact: Employees would be able to sue for decades-old perceived slights in their pay.
Business groups opposed the bill. Last month, the Senate voted not to proceed on the bill, which likely kills it for 2008. Look for it to be raised again next year.
- Make sure HR reviews each firing in advance
- Romance at the office, liability later?
- Workers hired through temp service? Normal anti-discrimination rules still apply
- Employee has used all FMLA leave? Assess disability status before terminating
- Keep careful records so you can show why you punished similar behavior differently