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Public Statements

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

LILLY LEDBETTER FAIR PAY ACT OF 2009 -- (House of Representative - January 9,2009)


Mr. HARE. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 11, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I commend my chairman, Chairman Miller, for bringing this important legislation forward.

Last year, I, too, had the privilege of hearing Ms. Ledbetter testify before the Education and Labor Committee. After 19 years as a Goodyear employee, Ms. Ledbetter discovered she was paid significantly less than every single one of her male counterparts. She sued the company. She took her case all the way to the Supreme Court. Ignoring a previous court's judgment to award Ms. Ledbetter damages for pay discrimination, the Supreme Court threw out the case based on a technicality.

The Court's decision ignores the reality of the workplace where employees generally don't know enough about what their coworkers earn or how decisions regarding pay are made to file a complaint right when discrimination first occurs. Under this decision, employees in Ms. Ledbetter's position are forced to live with discriminatory paychecks for the rest of their careers.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would correct this wrong by clarifying that every paycheck resulting from a discriminatory pay decision constitutes a violation of the Civil Rights Act and that employees have 180 days after each discriminatory paycheck to file suit.

When the Supreme Court sanctions discrimination through technicalities, it is the job of Congress to clarify the intent of the law. I am pleased that our first action in the 111th Congress is to stand up for American workers by invalidating this misguided ruling.

Once again, I commend my chairman, Chairman Miller, and I urge all of my colleagues to vote for H.R. 11.


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