Almond v. Unified Sch. Dist. #501, No. 10-3315 (10th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Two former employees of the Kansas Unified School District #501 filed administrative charges against the District following claims of wage discrimination. Dwight Almond, III and Kevin Weems were both offered and accepted new positions with lesser pay within the District rather than be fired from a District-wide downsizing effort. Both filed their claims in 2006, several years after the alleged pay discrimination took place. The district court held that the men had waited too long to seek administrative review, and that delay had the effect of barring their lawsuits altogether. In the pendency of the employees' appeal of the district court's dismissal, Congress enacted the "Ledbetter Act" specifically aimed at addressing "discrimination in compensation" claims in which members of a protected class receive less pay than similarly situated colleagues. The employees raised multiple claims on appeal, including a violation of the Ledbetter Act. Upon review of the district court record, the Tenth Circuit concluded that because the employees in this case didn't raise an unequal pay for equal work claim, they did not benefit from the Act’s comparatively generous deadlines, so preexisting accrual rules applied. Under those rules, the employees' claims were untimely and accordingly dismissed.