The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (S. 181) was passed by Congress on January 27, 2009, and signed by President Obama on January 29, 2009. The Act allows individuals to sue for alleged pay discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The most important change provides that an individual may sue based on each paycheck that was affected by a discriminatory act. Prior law measured the statute of limitations from the date of the actual discriminatory act. This means that current and future employees have almost unlimited time to file certain claims against a city. The text of the bill is available at: The effective date of this Act is backdated to May 28, 2007.

The Act was passed in response to a 2007 Supreme Court opinion. In Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., Inc., the court held that the plaintiff had to file her pay discrimination charge within the statutory time limit based on the discriminatory act, and not on the resulting lowered paychecks.

Each city should review its pay practices to ensure they are not discriminatory. Cities should ensure that every pay decision is documented. Pay decision records should be retained indefinitely to be used as possible evidence.

TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose.
No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the
Texas Municipal League.

Back to Legislative Update Index