Congress Responds to Ledbetter Decision

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's recent Ledbetter decision that said victims of pay discrimination lose their right to sue 180 days after the company's initial pay decision is made, even if the employee does not learn of the discriminatory treatment for years. Rep. George Miller is sponsoring the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would expand the time in which a plaintiff has a legal right to sue for back pay.

The court last month ruled in a 5-4 decision that Ledbetter, according to existing statutes, had to have filed her claim within 180 days of the first evidence of discrimination -- essentially the first paycheck in which she earned less than her male peers. Ledbetter didn't learn of her pay differential until years later.

The bill proposed by Miller would give workers the right to file claims within 180 days of the issuance of any discriminatory paycheck.