Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
CHICAGO, IL, Jan. 29, 2009 – The American Bar Association applauds the bipartisan cooperation that renewed our federal commitment to a fundamental principle—that all employees should be protected from pay discrimination based on gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age or disability. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 restores the opportunity for redress for the very workers who suffer the most from unfair pay practices—the ones who have experienced the hidden injustice of unequal pay for the longest time. They may once again assert their right under federal antidiscrimination laws to equal pay for equal work.
The President’s signature today, following Congressional votes this week and last, restores a key provision of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as it had been enforced for 40 years. It treats each paycheck received in an unequal pay structure as a separate discriminatory act. A 2007 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States gave effect to statutory flaws to require employees to bring such claims within 180 days of getting their first paycheck, but did not account for the reality that payroll disparities are not disclosed. This legislation restores opportunities for workers to seek redress no matter how much time passes before discrimination comes to light.