Suing Over Pay Discrimination

“Pass the Fair Pay Act” (editorial, April 23) seemed unaware of the existence of the Equal Pay Act, which already gives employees ample time to sue over pay discrimination.

The editorial laments that the Supreme Court ruled in Ledbetter v. Goodyear that Lilly Ledbetter “had to sue within 180 days of the company’s discriminatory raises.” That’s because she chose to sue under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal law that has a short, 180-day deadline.

But another federal law, the Equal Pay Act, has a long, three-year deadline for suing. So the proposed Fair Pay Act, which would extend the Title VII deadline, isn’t necessary. Worse, the Fair Pay Act would empower bureaucrats and interlopers to bring more Title VII lawsuits.

Title VII, unlike many other civil rights laws, already permits the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission bureaucrats to sue, not just the employee. The Fair Pay Act would extend the right to sue to even more third parties.

Hans Bader Washington, April 23, 2008

The writer is counsel for special projects at Competitive Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit public policy organization.

Originally published here: