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The US Supreme Court: Biased on Pay Bias?
6/13/2007
 
ROBIN'S PERSPECTIVE: On May 29, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court levied a major setback to women in the workplace. In its 5-4 Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. decision, a split Court said that a worker is required to bring a complaint of pay bias within 180 days after the company's initial salary decision. This finding reverses the longstanding practice of allowing pay bias complaints to be filed within 180 days of any discriminatory payday.

Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg correctly pointed out that pay bias often begins incrementally, and "only over time is there strong cause to suspect discrimination." This is especially true as employees are often told they can't discuss their pay rates among themselves, making it even harder to learn that discrimination is at play. The end result will be that thousands of workers will be denied a chance to correct injustice -- with their rights tolling long before they even knew they had a claim! That kind of a result is counterintuitive, at best.

Encourage your elected legislators to support the enactment federal laws that provide a sensible timeframe for workers to act upon perceived discrimination based upon the date of actual knowledge of suspected wrongdoing by their employers.

 
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Robin Bond
 
Robin Bond, Esq.
 
 
Workplace Legal Analyst


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