LILLY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - July 30, 2007)
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Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Mr. Speaker, I met Lilly Ledbetter during the House Judiciary Committee hearing last month. At that time, she explained how she was repeatedly harassed during her 20-year career at Goodyear. Lilly Ledbetter described for us in Judiciary how she had no proof of pay discrimination until someone anonymously slipped payroll records into her mailbox. Now, as much as our colleagues on the other side of the aisle would like to wish it to be otherwise, until a few months ago, it was established law that each paycheck constitutes a discriminatory act under the law.
When they were confirmed, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito promised to follow precedent. They promised to practice judicial restraint. Instead, they rewrote the law and pushed an activist, conservative agenda. They 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 a discriminatory decision has been made to file suit, even if that employee would have no way of knowing about it. This standard is impossible to meet. The opponents of this bill expect employees to be clairvoyant.
Many companies intentionally prohibit their employees from comparing salaries and pay raises, and this decision will allow employers to shield discriminatory practices.
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, and I'm surprised at my colleagues, particularly my female brethren on the other side of the aisle, who are standing in front of this House and asking the House to continue and repeat the practice of discrimination against women who have been unfairly treated for years and years.
I urge my colleagues to support fair pay in the workplace, and I thank Chairman Miller for his leadership on this issue.
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