Today Senate Republicans successfully blocked a bill which had the potential to make it easier for people to sue when faced with discriminatory pay. This bill, called the Fair Pay Restoration Act (but also known as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act), came as a response to a decision that the Supreme Court made in 2007 which stated that any person who claims pay discrimination must have their complaint filed within 180 days of that discrimination beginning. This six-month limit is troublesome due to the many difficulties that can arise when trying to prove pay discrimination.
Republicans complained that the bill would produce a flood of lawsuits and criticized the chamber's Democratic leaders for putting off the vote until the party's two presidential candidates, Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, returned from the campaign trail.Reading that made me wonder, why do the Republicans believe there will be a "flood of lawsuits?" Seems to me that they are acknowledging the fact that pay discrimination exists (why else would there be lawsuits?) but they would rather just sweep it under the rug.
That deadline is specified in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines, and it "protects employers from the burden of defending claims arising from employment decisions long past," Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority in the 5-4 decision.
The bill that stalled Wednesday would have reset the clock with every paycheck, with supporters arguing that each paycheck was a discriminatory act. But Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, said the bill would allow retirees drawing pensions to sue their old companies over allegations of discrimination that happened decades ago......The case was brought by an Alabama woman, Lilly Ledbetter, who claimed that her employer, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., paid men doing similar work 15 to 40 percent more. Ledbetter said she discovered the discrepancy late in her career -- too late, the court ruled, to go to court.