Thursday, January 29, 2009

Video: President Obama signs the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law

On only his tenth day in office, President Obama signs the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is a true Civil Rights bill. It is widely characterized as a bill designed to close the gender-gap in corporate pay. And while it is certainly a powerful tool to address that disparity, it's applications are even more far-reaching.

In the precedent-setting Ledbetter case, the Supreme Court ruled that the 180-day statute of limitations on filing a pay discrimination claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 begins to run when the original discriminatory decision is made, regardless of whether the discrimination continues beyond the 180-day period. In other words, a complainant would have to file a grievance within 180 days of their very first paycheck that was paid at a discriminatory wage.

This act, now signed into law by the President, has restored the "pay-check accrual" interpretation of the Civil Rights Act which ensures that employees who can prove pay discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability can once more seek redress as long as the discrimination continues.

Thank you Lilly Ledbetter for not giving up, and for  your courage in continuing to fight for fairness even after the Supreme Court denied your claim. And thank you President Obama for making this the very first bill that you signed into law; one that works toward the establishment of a level playing field by allowing for the fair redress of grievances...

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