Sunday, January 31, 2010

Kendrick Meek Celebrates One Year Anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for Women

Meek: "Equal Pay for Equal Work is Progress Florida Families Can Count in Dollars and Cents."

Miami Gardens, Fla. - Today, Kendrick Meek released the following statement regarding the one year anniversary of passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a measure that requires equal pay for equal work regardless of gender, age, race, religion, or national origin:

"Equal pay for equal work is a right that should not have required legislative action, but it took Democratic leadership to pass and a new president to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law. Florida's families and households are better off when a woman's income isn't shortchanged because of unfair business practices that pay working men and women unequally. More than ever, Florida families are working longer and harder only to take home less. With rising costs of college tuition, child care and retirement, this reform ensures Florida's working parents are in a better position to support their children. Equal pay for equal work is a Florida right that was long overdue."

Lilly Ledbetter worked for nearly 20 years as a supervisor at a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company facility in Alabama. She sued the company after learning that she was paid less than her male counterparts at the facility, despite having more experience than several of them. A jury found that her employer had unlawfully discriminated against her on the basis of gender. However, the Supreme Court ruled that Ledbetter had waited too long to sue, despite the fact that she filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as soon as she received an anonymous note alerting her to pay discrimination. The court ruled that since Ledbetter did not raise a claim within 180 days of the employer's initial decision to pay her less, she could not receive any relief. Employees in Ledbetter's position would be forced to live with discriminatory paychecks for the rest of their careers under this Supreme Court decision.

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