November 28, 2006
SCOTUS Oral Argument on EEOC 180 Day Statute of Limitations
Yesterday the Supreme Court held oral argument in Ledbetter, and you can read the oral argument transcript here. There's an interesting write up here in the Washington Post, that points out that every justice, except Thomas, asked at least one question.
It's an interesting problem: suppose an act of discrimination occurs, and your next paycheck is $10 less as a result. You don't complain to the EEOC. Over time, the impact adds up and compounds itself, and you finally sue. Should the rule be that you must seek redress within 180 days of the time the wrong occurs, or is each paycheck that is diminished its own separate violation?
If I was a betting man, I'll be they hold you have to sue within 180 days of the act. That's going to result in fewer suits, of course, since when the act first occurs there's no real damages, and later on the claim is barred. This may be one for Congress to remedy. Stay tuned.
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