Yesterday the First District Court of Appeals in Houston issued an opinion I first thought was an April Fool’s joke. However, since this opinion hasn’t been withdrawn, I presume the Court was serious in holding that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act , an act of Congress that has the effect of extending the statute of limitations to certain pay practices, applies to claims filed under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act. The Court cites two federal district court opinions similarly holding, but this is the first state court of appeals to apply the federal amendment to Title VII to the state law. This holding is even more surprising to me given that the Texas Legislature, in its last term, considered adopting provisions similar to the Ledbetter Act, but did not pass those provisions.
The effect of the Houston Court’s opinion is to render state law claims that would have been previously time barred as timely. You can read the First District Court of Appeals’ decision in Prairie View A & M University v. Chatha here.