Kathy Speaker MacNett Esq.
January 30, 2009 — 2,220 views  
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On January 29, 2009, President Barack H. Obama signed into law (SB 181) an act amending Title VII (Civil Rights Act); the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act to extend the period for filing claims. This period for filing claims is commonly referred to as the statute of limitations.

This new law, known as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, reverses the United States Supreme Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 550 U.S. 618 (2007).

There will now be three possible triggers for filing a claim when:

1. A discriminatory compensation decision or practice is adopted;
2. An individual becomes subject to a discriminatory compensation decision or practice; or
3. An individual is affected by application of the decision or practice, including every time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid, resulting in whole or in part from such decision or other practice.

Relief in the form of back pay may be obtained for two years preceding the filing of the charge.

Further, the law is retroactive to May 28, 2007 and applies to all charges that were pending on or after that date.

This new law was passed very rapidly during this session. It is expected to have extremely far reaching effects, and will likely increase the number of lawsuits in the federal courts. It will take some time for the application of the law to be sorted out at the federal level. Stay tuned for a parallel attempt to extend the state statute of limitations thorough an amendment to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

(c) 2009 Skarlatos & Zonarich LLP E-Alert may be copied by the recipient as long as it is not altered and copyright ownership is acknowledged.

Kathy Speaker MacNett Esq.