For Immediate Release
ACLU Hails Swift Progress of Pay Disparities Bill
Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Restores Right to Bring Pay Discrimination Claims
WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 250-177, S. 181, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bill that restores an employee's ability to bring a claim of wage discrimination as long as her employer continues unlawfully to pay her less than her co-workers. This legislation re-establishes rights virtually stripped away by the Supreme Court case Ledbetter v. Goodyear, which denied most workers their day in court to battle pay discrimination.
"The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act restores the right of employees to combat pay discrimination," said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "The Supreme Court's decision in the Ledbetter case essentially gave employers a free pass to discriminate. Today, the House voted to put an end to the injustices of the Ledbetter decision."
With passage in the Senate on the January 22, this wage discrimination bill is scheduled to become one of the first pieces of legislation that President Barack Obama signs into law.
ACLU Legislative Counsel Deborah J. Vagins added, "By swiftly passing this legislation, Congress sets a new tone for employment rights. The Ledbetter legislation restores a clear, bright-line rule for determining the timeliness of claims. Now, President Obama has an opportunity - with a stroke of his pen - to say the rollback of rights is no longer tolerated in America."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.