As the area of employment law continues to evolve, new laws are enacted, and old ones may be amended or interpreted in new ways. Fortunately many times, the new laws create greater protections for workers againstemployment discrimination. But what happens if you are subjected to discriminatory actions before a law becomes effective? What if case law changes the way a law is applied? In some limited circumstances, old claims can be “revived” as the result of new laws.
One example of this the Lily Ledbetter Act – as known as the Fair Pay Act. The Fair Pay Act was enacted in 2009 and provides that the statute of limitations “resets” with each new discriminatory paycheck. It also contains a crucial provision – that the act applies retroactively to claims pending as of May 28, 2007.
This provision was critical in allowing a group of white police officers
claiming “reverse race discrimination” to maintain a claim under the act for actions that began before
the Act was in place. In
Groesch v. Springfield, Ill., the officers filed a claim for pay bias in July 2004. The claim was dismissed
in 2007 as being untimely. The police officers then appealed. While the
appeal was pending, President Obama passed the Ledbetter Act, which provides
that each unfair paycheck constitutes a new violation, restarting the
clock to file a lawsuit.
According to the court’s decision, this provision, coupled with the retroactive application, meant that the officers could still bring maintain their claim of bias.
If you have been subjected to a certain type of discrimination and wonder if you can bring a claim, it’s always best to consult with a knowledgeable employment law attorney. As Georgia employee’s rights lawyers, we are committed to understanding each change in the law and the most up-to-date interpretations in order to ensure workers obtain the best possible representation.
For more information, please contact the dedicated Atlanta employment attorneys at Buckley Beal LLP, LLC.