BLR News

2/2/2009

Lilly Ledbetter Act Changes the Way Employers Manage Compensation

Old Saybrook, CT, January 30, 2009. Yesterday, on January 29, President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, marking the first legislative act of his presidency. The law applies to discriminatory pay complaints and remedies under several current laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), and portions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Providing for retroactive coverage effective May 28, 2007, the law overturns the Supreme Court decision Ledbetter v. Good Year Tire & Rubber Co., extending filing deadlines for pay-bias complaints and clarifying the definition of a discriminatory employment practice. This also impacts the handling of closed and pending complaints and suits filed after the effective date. In addition, Title VII maintains that employers must avoid any actions that may be viewed as retaliatory against employees involved in any portion of a wage discrimination complaint investigation.

Business & Legal Reports, Inc. (BLR®) encourages employers to review their current pay administration policies and procedures to make sure any existing pay inequities are corrected and that supervisors and managers are trained to avoid them in the future.

"In practical terms,” said Catherine Moreton Gray, J.D., managing editor, Human Resources at BLR, “the law eliminates the time limit within which an employee must file a complaint of pay discrimination as long as he or she continues on an employer’s payroll. In other words, if a female employee had a supervisor 10 years ago that made pay decisions based on gender, causing her to be paid less than her male counterparts, and that pay inequity was not corrected in subsequent pay increases, each paycheck will start a new statute of limitations, This means the employee may file a charge of discrimination many years later when she learns of the discrepancy in pay.”

Moreton Gray adds, “If that’s not enough to cause employers concern, then consider that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act amends Title VII , the ADA, and the ADEA, effectively extending the statute of limitations for claims of compensation discrimination under all major, federal civil rights laws.”

To help employers understand the Fair Pay Act and its impact, BLR has made the following resources available for purchase:

  • Downloadable Special Report Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: Take Action Now available at: www.blr.com/product.cfm/product/30614060
  • Additional products updated to include information regarding the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act available at: www.blr.com/market.cfm/market/2
  • What Employers Need to Do Now to Begin Preparing:

    • Review existing pay administration policies, including recordkeeping.
    • Consider new policies to make sure any existing pay inequities are corrected and supervisors and managers are trained to avoid them in the future.
    • Review any closed or pending charges and lawsuits, and consult their attorneys on how to proceed.
    • Review all antidiscrimination policies to ensure that they clearly reflect the employer’s commitment to fair employment practices.

    For media that would like to talk to Employment Law and Compensation subject-matter expert Catherine Moreton Gray, JD, managing editor for Human Resources at BLR, please call 800-727-5257 x2442 or e-mail Media @ BLR.com.