The Texas Legislature commences its 82nd Legislative Session on January 11, 2011. One of the bills recently enrolled for consideration is a bill to add Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act provisions to the Texas Labor Code. Senate Bill 280 would extend the statute of limitations for allegations of discrimination in payment of compensation (or other undefined practices) to the last date that such decision was adopted; applied to the individual or when compensation affected, in whole or in part, was last made to the employee.
S.B. 280 would aide employees who want to sue their employer. It allows a plaintiff-employee to use the more favorable statute of limitations with respect to discriminatory compensation or other practices without having to bring the case under federal law. Bringing a claim under federal law has consequences in that those claims are usually tried in federal courts, not state courts. Currently, employees who want to utilize the more favorable treatment the Ledbetter Act affords generally have to bring their claims under federal law. (But see post, post).
As several years of cases under the Ledbetter Act tell us, application of the Act can have significant (probably unintended) consequences that only disadvantage employers; not employees. See post.
The same bill was proposed in the 81st Legislative Session but was not passed.