Here is a bill I've been keeping a close eye on for nearly a year:
Under a measure sponsored by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, the court’s ruling that Ms. [Lilly] Ledbetter [of Alabama] failed to file a timely challenge to pay practices at a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Gadsden would effectively be overturned, though Ms. Ledbetter would not benefit directly.
Ms. Ledbetter, who earned thousands of dollars less than male colleagues doing similar supervisory work, was found by the court to have failed to make her claim within 180 days of the company’s pay policy decision. The sponsors of the bill want to clear up that requirement and straighten out what they see as a flawed ruling.
“Never mind that Ms. Ledbetter didn’t know about the discrimination when it first began,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Never mind that she had no means to learn of the discrimination because Goodyear kept salary information confidential. Never mind that Goodyear’s discrimination against Ms. Ledbetter continued each and every time it gave her a smaller paycheck than it gave her male colleagues.”
The House passed a similar bill last year soon after the court decision, but its backers have encountered resistance in the Senate and from the Bush administration, which argues it could spark a wave of lawsuits. Some Senate Republicans have reservations about the measure, but they intend to be careful in their opposition to avoid being portrayed as backing pay discrimination.