The Center for American Progress thanks President Obama for signing and Congress for passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. “It is a wonderful sign of President Obama’s commitment to women’s rights and economic security that the Ledbetter Act is the first bill he has signed into law,” said Jessica Arons, Director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program.
The Ledbetter Act corrects a 2007 decision by the Supreme Court that required Lilly Ledbetter to bring her pay discrimination claim within 180 days of receiving her first unequal paycheck, even though she did not know she was being paid unfairly until years later. Congress has now clarified that every discriminatory paycheck, and every other act of new or continued discrimination, starts the clock running again each time.
This is an important victory, but it is only the first step toward eliminating the gender pay gap. The Ledbetter Act gets us back to where we started; we need the Paycheck Fairness Act to move us forward. We urge Congress and the president to waste no time and enact fair pay reforms as soon as possible. In these tough economic times, women and their families need to be able to use every tool possible to ensure that equal work earns equal pay.
More from CAP and CAPAF on equal pay:
Report: Lifetime Losses: The Career Wage Gap from the Action Fund
Column: Fair Pay Is Critical as the Recession Deepens by Heather Boushey