By a vote of 61-36, the Senate has passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (S. 181). As explained in a press release from the bill’s lead sponsor, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), the bill will “remedy the 2007 Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. decision in which a divided Supreme Court held that workers must sue for pay discrimination within 180 days after the original pay-setting decision, no matter how long the unfair pay continues.” It amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 so that the statute of limitations runs from the date of the actual payment of a discriminatory wage, not just from the time of hiring. Thus, employees can seek a remedy based on each discriminating paycheck, not just during the first 180 days of pay discrimination.
All 36 nays were cast by Republicans. Five Republicans voted for the bill. The bill does not have to be returned to the House because the Senate approved the bill in the same form passed by the House. Here is the text of the bill:
We expect President Obama to sign the bill promptly.