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With the news that Tom Harkin, the Democratic senator from Iowa, is retiring, I’m reminded of the sorry state of congressional legislation against sex discrimination.
Please correct me if you think I’m wrong, but my reading of the three recent bills ranks them like this, from least to most important:
3. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. This changed the Civil Rights Act to reset the statute of limitations every time a discriminatory paycheck is issued. It undid the pernicious Ledbetter Supreme Court case, which interpreted the law to start the clock with the first act of discrimination.
- STATUS: Signed by President Obama, used as the symbol of his dedication to “putting the law behind the principle of equal pay for equal work.” But it didn’t address the biggest problems in the law, which still permits different pay for equal work, just not identical work…
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