A Feminist a Day: Lilly Ledbetter

Who is she?

lilly_ledbetter_equalpayLilly Ledbetter won a landmark equal pay case in the US, leading to the creation of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act – the first law signed by newly-elected President Obama.

Lilly worked for Goodyear for nearly 20 years and discovered that she was paid much less than her male counterparts (in some cases she was paid nearly $2000 a month less!).

She sued, and the legal battle took 10 years, and went all the way to the Supreme Court. Basically, Goodyear argued that her claim wasn’t valid because she hadn’t filed the lawsuit within 180 days of her last discriminatory pay cheque – in other words, only two of her pay cheques were admissible in court.  The Supreme Court found in Lilly’s favour, and the law changed to make sure that this couldn’t happen again to other workers who were discriminated against.

Why should we thank her?

Lilly is an inspiration and a reminder to us all that the real struggle of equal pay is far from over – women still earn less than men, often without us knowing about it. Her fight changed the law and will help protect millions of employees from unlawful pay discrimination.

Best quote 

“The Supreme Court told me that I should have filed a complaint within six months of the company’s first decision to pay me less even though I didn’t know about it for nearly two decades.”

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A Feminist a Day: Lilly Ledbetter

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