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What the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Doesn't Do: 'Discrete Acts' and the Future of Pattern or Practice Litigation


Jason R. Bent


Stetson University

April 10, 2009

Rutgers Law Record, Vol. 33, p. 31, Spring 2009

Abstract:     
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act clarified the application of the EEOC charge filing period for purposes of determining whether a claim of compensation discrimination is timely. But a number of timeliness questions remain unanswered for claimants alleging discrimination on grounds other than compensation discrimination. This Essay examines one question left open after the enactment of the Ledbetter Act, specifically: When, if ever, does the EEOC charge filing period begin to run in cases where the plaintiff alleges that defendant engaged in a "pattern or practice" of unlawful "discrete acts" of discrimination? In this Essay, I consider the difficulties that arise when attempting to apply the seemingly straightforward timely-filed charge requirement to pattern or practice cases. I evaluate the policy arguments supporting the competing interpretations of the timely-filed charge requirement as applied to pattern or practice cases, and I suggest a number of possible legislative solutions that could provide certainty to employers and potential claimants.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 9

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Date posted: April 22, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Bent, Jason R., What the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Doesn't Do: 'Discrete Acts' and the Future of Pattern or Practice Litigation (April 10, 2009). Rutgers Law Record, Vol. 33, p. 31, Spring 2009. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1393476

Contact Information

Jason R. Bent (Contact Author)
Stetson University ( email )
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States
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