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California Assembly Passes Fair Pay Legislation

The California state Assembly passed a state-level version of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Monday on a 49 to 28 vote. The measure codifies at the state level a broader version of the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. According to the bill, the statute of limitations on pay discrimination claims runs from the receipt of each discriminatory payment.

Assemblymember Dave Jones (D), who co-authored the legislation, said in a press release: “The Court’s ruling encourages employers to hide information and will likely lead to more unlawful discrimination. President Obama and the Congress have acted to amend federal law and now we should act to ensure that our state law is not weakened by this court decision. This legislation will ensure that the Supreme Court’s flawed decision does not apply to state laws that affect a worker’s right to equal pay.”

The federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, signed by President Obama in January, corrected the Roberts Supreme Court decision (see PDF) that gutted the ability of women workers to sue for wage discrimination. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that a wage discrimination complaint had to be filed within 180 days of the initial salary decision even if the victim is unaware of the discrimination until much later. The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 requires that a complaint be filed within 180 days of receiving a discriminatory paycheck.

Sources:

California NOW Press Release 5/18/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 5/8/09