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Ledbetter Act apply to demotions and promotions?
February 11, 2009 by Ross Runkel at LawMemo

I have previously argued that the Lilly Ledbetter Act would not apply to a decision not to promote an employee. Will the Lilly Ledbetter Act of 2009 really matter? Ask George Jackson.

Michael Fox at Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer is sounding the alarm bell, suggesting that judges will indeed apply the Act to decisions on promotion and demotion.

He points to the key language of the Act (and that is always the place to start). I’ll give you just a part:

when an individual is affected by application of a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice

Michael fears that the words “or other practice” will be read to include “all types of employment decisions that affect pay beyond a simple decision on wages, including demotions and promotions.”

OK, we have two nouns: (1) decision, and (2) other practice.”

And we have one adjective: compensation.

My argument is simple: the single adjective “compensation” modifies both nouns. Therefore, whatever the “other practice” may be, it must be a compensation practice.


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