The Supreme Court affirmed the federal appeals court, rejecting Ledbetter's argument that each paycheck issued violated Title VII, triggering a new six-month EEOC filing period. The Court held that "a pay-setting decision is a discrete act that occurs at a particular point in time" and that the statutory period for filing an EEOC claim begins when that discrete act occurs. Read the Court's 5-4 opinion per Justice Alito, along with a dissent from Justice Ginsburg.
The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that an employee cannot bring a lawsuit for pay discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for allegedly discriminatory actions that occurred outside the statutory limitations period even when a paycheck is received during the statutory limitations period. In Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Lilly Ledbetter, who worked at Goodyear for 19 years, alleged that she received less pay than male counterparts because of sex discrimination. The district court awarded Ledbetter $360,000 in damages but the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed, holding that the district court should have granted Goodyear's motion for judgment as a matter of law because the statute required Ledbetter to file her complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within six months of the alleged illegal employment practice.
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