Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act renews a worker’s right to sue for wage discrimination within six months of every unfair paycheck, not just the first.  The legislation was spurred by the case of Lily Ledbetter, a lifelong employee of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, who became aware that the company had, for decades, consistently paid her less than her equivalent male colleagues. A jury found her employer guilty of pay discrimination, but the conservative wing of the Supreme Court overturned the case, 5-4, because she hadn’t sued within 180 days of the date of the first discriminatory paycheck. (This would have been impossible, of course, because Ledbetter only became aware of the injustice after it had been happening for decades.) The Act overturns the Court’s decision. 

Cry Wolf Quotes

I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.....This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system.

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John McCain on the campaign trail.

The only ones who will see an increase in pay are some of the trial lawyers who bring the cases.

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Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) quoted in “How Dumb Are We? How long will women shoulder the blame for the pay gap?” in Slate.

It's opening the door to a lot more claims. That means more burdens on employers in terms of in-house costs, keeping more records and outside legal fees. It's going to be costly for businesses.

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Beth Milito, senior executive counsel for the Small Business Legal Center at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Inc.Com.

[Obama’s signing of the Ledbetter act is] a decision that could prove harmful to small business….Without limits, small businesses would be forced into the position of trying to defend an employment decision that occurred in the distant past…Because discrimination cases tend to rely on circumstantial evidence ('he said, she said' testimony), it would serve both parties best to review what occurred immediately after the event, not years later.

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Slate’s Biz Box.