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The Lilly Ledbetter Act and equal pay for women

The Lilly Ledbetter Act was passed after a US Supreme Court decision ruled that a female employee who did not learn about unequal pay treatment until after the 180 day statue of limitation could not proceed because her claim was time barred.  In response, Congress passed this Act to expand the statute of limitation by applying a paycheck accrual rule like the one Ledbetter advocated in her lawsuit. A paycheck accrual rule holds that each paycheck triggers a new charging period during which the complainant may properly challenge any prior discriminatory conduct that impacted that paycheck’s amount, no matter how long ago the discrimination occurred.

Although the Ledbetter Act followed a claim of gender discrimination, the same principle applies when an employee learns about unequal pay treatment based on discriminatory criteria like race or age.

Pamela A. Smith
Law Office of Pamela A. Smith
233 Needham Street, Suite 540
Newton, MA 02464


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