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Resolutions & Amendments

38th International Convention - San Francisco, CA (2008)

Fair Pay Restoration Act

Resolution No. 17
38th International Convention
Moscone West
July 28 - August 1, 2008
San Francisco, CA

The Supreme Court in 2007 ruled 5-4 in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Inc., that an employee of the Goodyear plant in Gadsden, Alabama, Lilly Ledbetter, could not claim discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because she did not file her complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days of the initial decision to discriminate against her; and

The court’s misinterpretation of Title VII held that the deadline for filing suit was from the day Goodyear made its original decision to pay Ledbetter less than her male counterparts, although decades of case law made it clear that the target date for filing suit would be from the day she received her last discriminatory paycheck; and

The court’s decision dramatically limited the rights of victims of pay discrimination, reversing decades of legal precedent which held that an employer violated the law with each compensation payment that is based on a discriminatory compensation decision or practice; and

The decision removed an important legal remedy from employees facing pay discrimination by placing an unrealistic timetable on employees who are victims of pay discrimination, while protecting employers who discriminate from liability; and

The decision has jeopardized the progress that has been made in ensuring that discrimination does not play a role in decisions about pay; and

Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would clarify that each paycheck constitutes a new violation for purposes of the statute of limitations under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act.

That AFSCME strongly condemn efforts to erode Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which ensures that workers receive fair compensation regardless of race, sex or religion; and

That AFSCME continue to work with other labor unions and civil rights organizations in our mutual  fight against workplace discrimination; and

That AFSCME reaffirm its commitment to fair pay and the elimination of wage discrimination by urging the U.S. Congress to pass the Fair Pay Restoration Act, legislation that would restore longstanding protections against wage discrimination.
SUBMITTED BY: Carol Dotlich, President and Delegate
Lee Novak, Secretary and Delegate
AFSCME Council 28