The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is currently reviewing closed cases of wage discrimination complaints to determine if it can reissue right-to-sue notifications to those affected under the provisions of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.
Grounds for reissuance would be based upon new statute-of-limitations guidelines under the Fair Pay Act. Previously, a complaint had to be filed within 180 days of a discriminatory employment decision, but the Lily Ledbetter Act extended the 180-day limit to recommence each time a paycheck is issued based on an earlier discriminatory decision, which could stretch out employer liability for years or even decades.
Employment lawyers earlier this year forecast a spate of new and reopened lawsuits based upon Ledbetter, and the EEOC may indeed open the legal spigot to get matters rolling. So far, however, courts have ruled narrowly in their interpretation of the Fair Pay Act and have generally not allowed it to be applied retroactively, but time will tell.
Any new right-to-sue notification would be good for 90 days.
Meanwhile, employers, you need to carefully protect yourselves against charges of discrimination based on gender, wage, age, disability and other factors. Personnel Concepts provides several discrimination resources to help you do just that. In matters of fair pay, pick up your copy today of our Compensation Discrimination Compliance Kit and safeguard yourselves.