President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on Jan. 29, making it easier for women and others to sue for pay discrimination that may date back decades.
Drafted in response to a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that said employees had at most 300 days to file pay discrimination complaints, the new law counts each unfairly low paycheck as a fresh discriminatory act. It caps damages at $300,000 and retains current limits on back pay to two years’ worth.
Critics predict the Ledbetter Act, the first legislation Obama signed into law, will spur more pay discrimination lawsuits. It goes into effect immediately, and is retroactive to May 2007.
Also likely to be signed into law shortly: the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would lift caps on money damages due from employers with discriminatory pay policies.
Quick congressional action
The 111th Congress wasted no time signaling its intention to enact employment law ...(register to read more)
- Track timing on discrimination suits; missed federal deadlines can kill state claims, too
- Suspect employee didn't file on time? Raise that issue early in litigation process
- We suspect domestic abuse: How do we proceed?
- It's absolutely essential to treat all employees equally
- Interpret Military Leave Law in Most Employee-Friendly Way