On May 29, 2007, SCOTUS decided 5-4 in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Inc. that Ledbetter had only 180 days to file an EOCC complaint of salary discrimination based on sex and that although the discrimination had been going on for years, the court would consider only wage discrimination that had occurred within 180 days of her filing.
It further stipulated the unrealistic and onerous condition that “Ledbetter should have filed an EEOC charge within 180 days after each allegedly discriminatory employment decision was made and communicated to her.” This was an example of the Court ignoring how the world actually functions. Corporations often prohibit employees from discussing their remuneration and make doing so grounds for dismissal. Employees may not come to know that they are being discriminated against for some time, what means are available to challenge such discrimination, if it is worth their while to contest it, and if they have the courage to do so. The decision greatly reduces the scope of discrimination claims and effectively gives corporations a Get Out of Jail Free card for patterns of long term discrimination.