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 - College of Law
April 10, 2009
Rutgers Law Record, Vol. 33, p. 31, Spring 2009
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: 9Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: April 22, 2009
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