If an employer discriminates against an employee in their compensation, the employee now may have as little as 180 days to fight that illegal discrimination. If the employee fails to object within 180 days, that employee can be discriminated against in every paycheck thereafter, forever, with no right to challenge the discrimination.
That is the result of the Senate’s failure to pass the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The House passed the bill in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Ledbetter v. Goodyear, 127 S. Ct. 162 (2007). The Court held that when a company intentionally discriminates in setting an employee’s pay it only discriminates at that time and not when every subsequent pay check is issued. President Bush had threatened to veto the Act, arguing that employer’s needed to know that employee’s claims expired closer to when the discriminatory decision was made. You know, to be fair.
This creates a very narrow window for employees to challenge an employer’s discriminatory actions. It puts incredible pressure on employees to be diligent in discovering and objecting to discrimination. So if you feel you’ve been discriminated against don’t wait for your time to object to run out. Be assertive and don’t let yourself be intimidated. That’s how they win and you lose.