WASHINGTON (Aug. 14) — The House of Representatives has passed a bill designed to eliminate workplace pay discrimination that is based on a U.S. Supreme Court case involving a former Goodyear employee.
Lilly Ledbetter, a retired supervisor at Goodyear´s Gadsden, Ala., plant, sued the company, claiming an unfairly negative evaluation early in her career there had resulted in her being paid much less than male supervisors of the same length of service.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 for Goodyear, saying that Ledbetter´s complaint violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act because it wasn´t filed within 180 days of the original discriminatory act.
The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, passed 225-199 on July 31, amends Title VII and other employment laws to state that an act of pay discrimination is renewed each time a new paycheck or pension payment is issued, as Ledbetter had argued.
Groups such as the National Organization for Women hailed the legislation as an important step toward bridging the wage gap between men and women, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business said it unfairly penalizes employers over decades and might provide a disincentive for employers to provide retirement benefits for workers.
The bill has been placed on the calendar of the Senate, which currently is in recess.