Submitted by: Michael Padgett, IndySHRM Director of Legislative Affairs

On January 29, 2009, President Obama signed into law The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The Act overturns the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. issued in 2007. In the controversial Ledbetter case, the Supreme Court held that the time limit for filing pay discrimination claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is measured from the date of the first allegedly discriminatory pay decision. The Act amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide that the charge-filing period (300 days in most states, including Indiana) would commence when the employee is affected by an application of a discriminatory compensation decision or practice (including each time wages are paid). In other words, the time period for filing a claim can be measured based on each successive pay period, rather than the original decision setting wage levels. The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act will result in employers losing a statute of limitations defense in many cases and breathe new life into old claims.