Category Archives: Equal Pay

US Supreme Court rules pay claims must be filed shortly after discriminatory decision; Ledbetter v Goodyear, 5/29/07

May 29, 2007: In Led­bet­ter v. Goodyear Tire & Rub­ber Com­pany, 550 U.S. 618, 128 S. Ct. 2162 (2007) (Find­Law site opin­ion), the United States Supreme Court, in a 5–4 deci­sion, issued an impor­tant deci­sion in a sex dis­crim­i­na­tion case under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which sub­stan­tially lim­ited the time period avail­able to assert a claim for pay dis­crim­i­na­tion. The Supreme Court affirmed the deci­sion of the Eleventh Cir­cuit in Led­bet­ter v. Goodyear Tire and Rub­ber Com­pany, Inc., 421 F.3d 1169 (11th Cir. 2005).

Ledbetter’s Claims of Sex Dis­crim­i­na­tion and Lower Pay, and the Trial Result

LillyLedbetter Led­bet­ter filed a charge of sex dis­crim­i­na­tion with the EEOC in 1998 and then later in the year retired. She claimed that, years ear­lier in her career at Goodyear, male super­vi­sors gave her bad per­for­mance reviews com­pared to what men received. She claimed that Goodyear awarded raises based on those per­for­mance reviews, so that her pay raises were reduced as a result of the dis­crim­i­na­tory per­for­mance reviews.

Led­bet­ter went to trial and per­suaded the jury that the per­for­mance reviews, years before she filed her EEOC charge, were dis­crim­i­na­tory based on her sex, and the jury found her rights had been vio­lated and awarded her dam­ages based on her lower pay­checks through­out her career. The trial judge entered a “judg­ment” in Ledbetter’s favor based on the jury’s ver­dict. So Led­bet­ter won at trial on her sex dis­crim­i­na­tion claim under Title VII. The Eleventh Cir­cuit Court of Appeals threw out the jury ver­dict and trial court judg­ment for Led­bet­ter, and entered a judg­ment in favor of Goodyear, based on her fail­ure to file her EEOC charge within 180 days of when the per­for­mance reviews had been con­ducted. The United States Supreme Court affirmed, mean­ing that Goodyear won.

Con­tinue read­ing US Supreme Court rules pay claims must be filed shortly after dis­crim­i­na­tory deci­sion; Led­bet­ter v Goodyear, 5/29/07