On January 29, 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law. This Act overturns the Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, which had ruled that the 180 days statute of limitations for filing an equal pay lawsuit under Title VII begins on the date the discriminatory pay was agreed upon, not on the date of the most recent paycheck that was affected by that decision.

The Act amends Title VII, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination Act, and the Rehabilitation Act, to begin a new 180-day limitations period each time a paycheck is issued. The Act states that discrimination in compensation occurs not only when the discriminatory compensation decision or practice is adopted, but also “when an individual is affected by application of a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice, including each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid, resulting in whole or in part from such a decision or other practice.” However, it should be noted that the Act does not change the limitation on the availability of back pay to the two years preceding the filing of the charge.

The Act takes effect as if enacted on May 28, 2007, and applies to all claims of discrimination in compensation that are pending on or after that date.

Click here to read the full text of the Act.