United States Senate Motion to Invoke Cloture on Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Bill Defeated. On April 23, 2008, the United States Senate failed to invoke cloture so that it could immediately vote on the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Bill (H.R. 2831). Instead, the bill will likely be reconsidered for debate later this year. The Act seeks to restore the longstanding interpretation of the EEOC that every paycheck resulting from an earlier discriminatory pay decision is considered a violation of Title VII. In May 2007, the Supreme Court in its decision in the case of Ledbetter v. Goodyear, turned this longstanding interpretation on its head and instead ruled that employees could not challenge ongoing pay discrimination if the employer’s original discriminatory pay decision occurred outside the statute of limitations period, even when the employee continued to receive reduced paychecks as the result of discrimination. The passage of this bill would significantly increase employer exposure to claims of discriminatory pay.
President Bush Signs Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. On May 21, 2008, President Bush signed into law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”) (H.R. 493). The law prohibits health insurers and employers from discriminating on the basis of genetic information. It also limits the circumstances under which an employer can acquire employees’ genetic information.
Wisconsin State Military Personnel Employment Discrimination Bill Signed into Law. On January 15, 2008, the Wisconsin State Senate approved legislation that will expand the state law employment discrimination rights of Wisconsin military service personnel. The legislation, signed into law as Wisconsin Act 159, conforms provisions of Wisconsin’s Fair Employment Act to the provisions its federal counterpart, the Federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
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