Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Take action: Lilly Ledbetter

by Emily Sullivan

Lilly Ledbetter was the only female manager in a Goodyear Tire factory in Alabama. Shortly before retiring, Lilly discovered she had been paid $223,776 less than her male peers just because she was a woman. A jury granted her $3 million in damages, but the Supreme Court revoked the decision because her complaint was not filed within a 180 day window. The window, according to the Supreme Court, began after Ledbetter received her first check from the company—unfortunately, Ledbetter discovered the discrimination shortly before her retirement after almost 20 years of service.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act will be the first votes to hit the New House of Representatives. Senate follows, and President Obama has already pledged to approve both bills.

The LLPA will help those who have been victims of pay discrimination fight their battles in court by redefining the complaint window to 180 days after the last check received.

The Paycheck Fairness Act aims to strengthen the Equal Pay Act, which was passed in 1963—sex-based discrimination is at the heart of the update. It also aims to prevent employers from retaliating against those who disclose their salaries, and introduces new compensatory and punitive damages companies need to pay out when it's proven that they have discriminated.

What you can do:

Support the bills by signing any of these petitions:
http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/1269/t/3076/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2495

http://www.momsrisingaction.org/o/1768/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26382

https://secure2.convio.net/nwlc/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=269

If you are a victim of workplace discrimination, contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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