Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement in recognition of the four-year anniversary of enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (P.L. 111-2). Cantwell was a cosponsor of the legislation (S. 181), which was the first bill President Obama signed into law on January 29, 2009. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act clarified that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal pay lawsuit resets with each discriminatory paycheck.
This Congress, Cantwell is a cosponsor of legislation introduced on January 23, 2013, by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) that would strengthen the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by helping to close the wage gap between women and men working the same jobs. The new bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, builds upon the landmark Equal Pay Act signed into law in 1963 by closing loopholes that allow pay discrimination to continue. Today, women make just 77 cents for every dollar made by a man for equal work, which amounts to a difference of more than $10,000 per year.
"Four years ago, President Obama signed the historic Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, advancing the effort to end pay discrimination," Cantwell said. "I was proud to cosponsor this legislation, which ensured the courthouse doors would remain open for women contesting this injustice.
"Although we have made great strides, we still have work to do to achieve the goal of equal pay for equal work," Cantwell continued. "That's why I am proud to continue to stand up in support of fair pay for women with my cosponsorship of the Paycheck Fairness Act. This legislation would bring us closer to the goal of pay equity and build upon the promise of the Equal Pay Act. We have a duty and responsibility to provide a fair-pay system that accurately reflects the reality women face each day."