Today, Congressman Andrews marks the anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which he co-authored and championed as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP). This landmark piece of legislation, signed into law in 2009 by President Barack Obama is part of the ongoing efforts to ensure that women are granted equal pay for equal work.
Upon her retirement, Lilly Ledbetter, a supervisor at a Goodyear plant, discovered that she had been paid 20 percent less than her male counterparts for the last 19 years. Over her career the disparity amounted to well over $100,000. Ledbetter sued the company on the grounds of gender discrimination, but the Supreme Court determined that Ledbetter had waited too long to report the inequity, even though she had no way of knowing it was occurring. In response, Congress passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Over the past four years, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act has ensured that each paycheck issued that reflects a discriminatory pay practice constitutes a new violation. This allows any employee the opportunity to file a claim within the required 180-day window of the latest violation. Now, employees are able to challenge these acts of discrimination that not only affect their monthly pay, but also their overtime, retirement and social security benefits.
"America was founded upon the principle of freedom and equality for all," Congressman Andrews said. "This bill is a step in the right direction to ensure that our mothers, daughters and sisters receive equal pay for equal work."
Congressman Andrews has long been a staunch advocate in the fight for a fair work environment, including the assurance of equitable pay. Together, Congressman Andrews and his colleagues will continue to work together to guarantee that all Americans earn a fair wage for a hard day's work.