Today, our friends at National Women's Law Center are asking bloggers to help raise awareness about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is currently pending in the Senate and is possibly up for a vote in the near future.
As the AAUW recently reported, women still only earn 69 to 80 cents on the dollar for comparable work as men. On our blog, we've written about salary disparities affecting female coaches, teachers, professors, and others employed in the education sector.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (formerly the Fair Pay Restoration Act) would help ensure that the courts remain open to plaintiffs with pay discrimination claims. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled in a case called Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire that pay discrimination plaintiffs must file suit within 18o days of the employer's initial decision upon the discriminatory salary in question. But because it understandably takes plaintiffs a couple of pay cycles -- often more than 180 days -- to realize their pay is unfair relative to that of men in similar positions, it may be too late to pursue a legal remedy once they do. The Fair Pay Restoration Act would restore what many lower courts had believed to be the law prior to the Ledbetter decision -- that each discriminatory paycheck creates a new 180 day window for the plaintiff to bring her claim. As such, it would eliminate the rigid and unnecessary obstacle to plaintiffs' claims that currently gives incentives to employers to conceal discriminatory pay policies for the statutory period and quickly immunizes them from suit.
Please urge your Senators to support the Fair Pay Restoration Act. All you have to do visit the NWLC's website -- it's quick, it's easy, and it's important.