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Feminist News


January-29-09

President Obama Signs Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed this morning by President Obama and is the first bill he has signed while in office. The House passed the final version of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (H.R. 11) in a 250-177 vote Tuesday after the Senate passed the Act (S. 181) by a strong majority last week after defeating a series of Republican hostile amendments.

President Obama said today that "it is fitting that the very first bill the I sign, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Actis upholding one of this nation's founding principles: that we are all created equal."


The Ledbetter Act corrects the Roberts Supreme Court decision (see PDF) that gutted the ability of women workers to sue for wage discrimination. The Act passed helps not only women, but all workers who are victims of wage discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability.

Ledbetter worked for Goodyear for 19 years before discovering that she was paid significantly less than her male counterparts with the same or less experience. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the complaint had to be filed within 180 days of the initial salary decision even if the victim is unaware of the discrimination until much later.

Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 1/9/09, 1/23/09, 1/28/09; Feminist Majority Foundation; CSPAN