Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act:

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is a response to a 2007 Supreme Court decision that made it more difficult to sue over past pay discrimination, and prevented Ledbetter from filing an employment discrimination claim. The WSJ notes this is, in effect, and earmark for the plaintiff’s trial lawyers:

[The Supreme Court’s] ruling put to rest Ms. Ledbetter’s creative theory that decisions made decades ago by a former boss affected her pay all the way to retirement, so that each paycheck was a new discriminatory act and thus fell within the statute of limitations. Yet that is exactly the theory Congress would now revive with the Ledbetter bill. There would no longer be time limits on such discrimination claims. They could be brought long after evidence had disappeared or witnesses had died — as was the case with Ms. Ledbetter’s former boss.

For the tort bar, this is pure gold. It would create a new legal business in digging up ancient workplace grievances. . .

The Paycheck Fairness Act:

The Paycheck Fairness Act clearifies the 1963 Equal Pay Act by making clear that victims of gender-based discrimination can sue for compensatory and punitive damages.  It also moves the burden to employers to prove that pay differences are job-related and not sex-based.  It also bars employers from retaliating against workers who discuss or disclose salary information with their co-workers.