Ginsburg gets her way

rbginsburgYesterday Congress formally sent to President Barack Obama’s desk a bill that extends the time period in which an employee can file an unequal pay bias claim by re-starting the statute of limitations with the issuance of each disproportionate paycheck.

Obama will sign tomorrow, 20 months to the day after the Supreme Court handed down the decision Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., which held that a worker had 180 days to file a claim irrespective of how many unequal paychecks were issued.

In that case, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote an ardent dissent – which she read in part from the bench, an unusual move at the Court – arguing that lawmakers who enacted Title VII “never intended to immunize forever discriminatory pay differentials unchallenged within 180 days of their adoption.”

She also urged the lawmakers across the street from the Court to change things. “The ball is in Congress’ court,” Ginsburg wrote. “The Legislature may act to correct this Court’s parsimonious reading of Title VII.”

The bill is expected to be signed into law Thursday by President Barack Obama, and will go into effect immediately.


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