Many jurisdictions apply a discovery rule with respect to statutes of limitations in tort law causes of action. These jurisdictions toll the statute until the plaintiff learned, or reasonably should have learned, that the defendant’s conduct caused harm. The Supreme Court has expressly declined to determine whether a discovery rule applies in Title VII claims. In Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the Supreme Court held that a plaintiff employee must bring suit against his employer within either 180 or 300 days of the intentional discriminatory act.
This Note addresses the problems in the Ledbetter decision. The first section discusses Title VII, the predominant statute under which plaintiffs may file employment discrimination actions. The following section reviews the policies underlying statutes of limitations and related equitable remedies. The Note then traces the development of employment discrimination law as interpreted by the Supreme Court prior to the 2007 Ledbetter decision. Next, it explores the majority and dissenting opinions of the Ledbetter decision. Finally, this Note will analyze the pending legislation proposed in the wake of this decision and recommend that Congress revise Title VII to include the discovery rule and address the effects such legislation would have on future employee plaintiffs and employer defendants. . . .