The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on May 29 in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. provoked a stinging dissent, caused consternation in the civil rights community and generated calls for prompt amendment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Discrimination in pay that occurs more than 180 days before filing a charge appears to have been insulated from redress, even if the effects continue into the charging period.
Yet a solution exists that might ameliorate the apparent harsh effects of the Ledbetter decision. This answer is called the “discovery rule,” and it is already established law in most federal appellate circuits. It won’t address every case affected by Ledbetter, but it might prove helpful for a number of victims of pay discrimination.