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First law Obama signs opens door to more pay discrimination claims

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in Compensation and Benefits,Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

by Dean A. Ledoux, Esq.

The first bill signed into law by President Obama is one that significantly expands employers’ exposure for possible claims of discriminatory pay. That law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (FPA), was signed on Jan. 29.

It’s too soon to tell whether this new law represents the beginning of a new wave of pro-employee legislation by the new Congress. But in and of itself, the FPA represents a significant development of which careful employers need be aware.

More time to file for pay bias

The FPA expands the period of time when an employee may file a lawsuit against an employer for pay discrimination. Employees may begin such a lawsuit within 180 days of receiving a paycheck reflecting a discriminatory pay level—regardless of when the underlying compensation decision was made. (That time period is extended to 300 days if a claim is additionally based on a state or local law prohibiting dis...(register to read more)

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