Democrats in the Senate and House will introduce legislation next week to counteract yesterday’s Supreme Court decision that limited the time period in which an employee can legally challenge wage discrimination. The new legislation will clarify a deadline set by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which requires legal action to be taken no later than 180 days “after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred,” according to a release from Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). The Court’s most conservative justices ruled that the 180-day period begins after the original act of discrimination, not after each subsequent unequal paycheck, even if the employee is not immediately aware of the discrimination.
Clinton will introduce the legislation with Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), George Miller (D-CA) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will introduce similar legislation in the House.
“Unless Congress acts, this Supreme Court ruling will have far-reaching implications for women,” Clinton said in a statement. “All Americans deserve equal pay for equal work and it is our responsibility to get this right.”
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the dissent in yesterday’s 5-4 decision. She asked Congress to remove the roadblock the Court constructed against equal pay for women.