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Public Statements

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. "Madam Speaker, I met Lilly Ledbetter during a Judiciary Committee hearing in 2007. She told us then how it was only after 20 years of working at Goodyear that she learned of the long-standing pay discrimination against her. Immediately upon learning this, Lilly took her case to court. But instead of following long-standing precedent that each new unfair paycheck represented a new cause of action, the Supreme Court denied Lilly Ledbetter justice.

In the real world, discrimination is subtle and takes years to become evident. However, Justice Alito ruled that victims have only 180 days after the start of a discriminatory action to file suit, even if that employee has no way of knowing about it. This standard is impossible to meet. The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act rights this wrong. It clarifies that an employee is discriminated against each and every time she receives an unfair paycheck.

I thank Chairman Miller and Congresswoman DeLauro for their outstanding leadership on this issue, and for my two beautiful daughters and the daughters of America, urge my colleagues to support fair pay in the workplace."

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