New law makes it easier to sue for wage discrimination

The first law signed by President Obama will make it easier to sue an employer for wage discrimination. The law will restart the statute of limitations for a pay bias claim with each new paycheck that is issued. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is named after Lilly Ledbetter, who worked as a plant manager for Goodyear Tire but realized only after some years had passed that she was getting paid less than her male counterparts. When she sued for wage discrimination, the U.S. Supreme Court threw the case out, saying she had filed it too late – after the 180-day limit which began when the pay decision was first made.

The law overturns the Supreme Court decision. Now, employees alleging pay discrimination will have 180 days from the issuance of any discriminatory paycheck to file a claim. A number of business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, opposed the bill and said it would lead to increased litigation costs and force companies to defend decades-old pay-scale decisions.