twitterfacebooklinkedinrss

Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 550 U.S. 618 (2007): Faithful to Title VII or Blind to Sex Discrimination? | Author: Garrett M. Fahy

Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 550 U.S. 618 (2007): Faithful to Title VII or Blind to Sex Discrimination? | Author: Garrett M. Fahy

In 1979, Lilly Ledbetter went to work for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Gadsden, Alabama. Nineteen years later she retired and sued Goodyear for sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (“Title VII”), alleging that Goodyear wrongly paid her less than some of her male counterparts on account of her sex. A jury agreed with her and awarded her over $200,000 in back pay and mental anguish damages, and over three million dollars in punitive damages. The United States Supreme Court saw the issues differently: it found her claim to be untimely and time-barred by the language of Title VII, and awarded her zero dollars. This dramatic reversal is one of the many reasons this case, brought by an elderly woman from Alabama against a large company, garnered so much attention after its announcement. The legal and practical implications of the Ledbetter decision are important enough. The human drama at the center of this “signature decision” only added to the intense interest and the more intense reaction.

Download Full Article