When the Supreme Court in 2007 ruled that an employee only had 180 days to file a wage discrimination complaint against an employer, it ignored the real-world realities of wage discrimination. In the case of Goodyear Tire employee Lilly Ledbetter, who brought her case to the Supreme Court, it took her years to learn that she was earning less than her male counterparts. Yet, she was denied a way to address the discrimination.
The Senate in January 2008 began considering a bill, the Fair Pay Restoration Act, which addresses the 180-day statute of limitations for employees to bring pay discrimination claims against their employers. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D. Mass., said that the legislation "gives workers a realistic opportunity to stop ongoing discrimination, and it holds firms accountable for violating the law." As Ledbetter herself put it when she testified before a Senate committee in January, the Senate should follow the lead of the House in passing the bill so that "so that our civil rights laws can once again offer effective protection against discrimination."
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