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July 30, 2007
Bush Opposes 'Fair Pay' Legislation

President Bush says he would veto legislation that would amend federal law to give workers more time to file a complaint alleging pay discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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In May, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the deadline for workers to file a pay-bias complaint under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is 180 days from the date the decision on their pay is made and communicated to them.

In general, an individual wishing to bring a discrimination lawsuit must first file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 180 days "after the alleged unlawful employment practice occurred."

The question before the Supreme Court was whether the clock on that 180 days restarts each time an employee receives a paycheck that reflects past discrimination. The court ruled that it didn't

In response to the ruling, Democrats in Congress introduced the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007 (H.R. 2831), which would specify that the statute of limitations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 runs from the date of each paycheck that is affected by a discriminatory decision.

The Bush administration strongly opposes the legislation.

"H.R. 2831 would allow employees to bring a claim of pay or other employment-related discrimination years or even decades after the alleged discrimination occurred," the White House said in a policy statement. "The effective elimination of any statute of limitations in this area would be contrary to the centuries-old notion of a limitations period for all lawsuits. Meaningful statutes of limitations in these sorts of fact-intensive cases are crucial to the fair administration of justice."

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