Friday, January 30, 2009

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and chief House sponsor of the legislation, issued the following statement after President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law.

“I am proud that the first major piece of legislation signed by President Obama reaffirms the basic and fundamental American value of equal pay for equal work. Unfortunately, the outrageous employment practice of paying workers differently based on prejudice was sanctioned by a sorely misguided Supreme Court decision in May 2007 and demanded immediate attention.

“With President Obama’s signature today, we ensure that women and other workers who are discriminated against while on the job have the ability to receive a fair remedy. Ongoing pay discrimination is an attack on all working Americans and must be stamped out. The Congress and the President restored the law today and ensured that discriminatory paychecks are not immune from challenge.

“I also commend Lilly Ledbetter’s incredible courage and perseverance over the past couple of years in making her voice heard in this debate. Thanks to Lilly Ledbetter’s efforts, even though it is too late for her to receive justice, millions of Americans will be able to once again fight against the despicable practice of workplace discrimination.”

Ledbetter v. Goodyear Equal Pay Hearing: Lilly Ledbetter.

What happened to me is not only an insult to my dignity, but it had real consequences for my ability to care for my family. Every paycheck I received, I got less than what I was entitled to under the law.

“The Supreme Court said that this didn’t count as illegal discrimination, but it sure feels like discrimination when you are on the receiving end of that smaller paycheck and trying to support your family with less money than the men are getting for doing the same job.

“And according to the Court, if you don’t figure things out right away, the company can treat you like a second-class citizen for the rest of your career. That isn’t right.” -- Lilly Ledbetter.

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