Equal Pay for Equal Work: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

After 19 years working for the Goodyear Tire Company, Lilly Ledbetter discovered that she was paid 20% less than her male counterparts. The knowledge began a decade long fight for equal pay for equal work that went all the way to the Supreme Court, and resulted in the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; the first piece of legislation signed by President Obama.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was signed into law on Jan. 29, 2009, restores the protection against pay discrimination that was taken away by the 2007 Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. The Act reinstates prior law and helps to ensure that individuals subjected to unlawful pay discrimination are able to effectively assert their rights under federal anti-discrimination laws.

In Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., the Supreme Court ruled that employees cannot challenge wage discrimination if the employer’s original decision to pay discriminatory wages occurred more than 180 days before, even when the employee continues to receive paychecks that have been discriminatorily reduced.

The Lilly Ledbetter Far Pay Act makes clear that pay discrimination claims on the basis of sex, race, national origin, age, religion and disability can be renewed whenever an employee receives a discriminatory paycheck, as well as when a discriminatory pay decision or practice is adopted. This means that a women who believes that she has been the victim of wage discrimination can take legal action up to 180 days after her last discriminatory paycheck or other discriminatory pay decision.

More on the Lilly Ledbetter Far Pay Act:

New York Times
USA Today
The Washington Post
CBS News
Time Magazine
The Denver Post

View the text of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act at the Library of Congress online.

President Obama signs the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in law

If you are a woman in Colorado and have experienced wage discrimination based on your gender, there are options available to you. Equal pay is the law!

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