Think you might be a victim of pay discrimination? Planning to file a formal complaint? Better hurry.

That's the essence of a controversial 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court recently in the case of Lilly M. Ledbetter, a longtime supervisor at a Goodyear Tire plant in Gadsden, Ala. She blamed sex discrimination by Goodyear for a series of actions that left her pay significantly below that of men who did similar work at the plant, including men with less seniority than she had.

But in an opinion written by Justice Samuel A. Alito...

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