Lilly Ledbetter worked as an area manager at Goodyear plant in Gadsden, Alabama for nineteen years. Her crusade to remedy the gender-based pay discrimination that she suffered during that time received national attention, and her activism led to the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009.
Despite never receiving compensation for the discrimination she faced, Lilly Ledbetter fought to pass legislation ensuring that other women would not have to experience the same inequities she had. In 2009, President Barack Obama made the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act the first piece of official legislation that he signed upon taking office. The bill revises previous legislation and states that the 180-day statute of limitations resets with each new paycheck affected by discriminatory action, giving plaintiffs more time to file their claims.
Meet the ultimate women’s equality activist Lilly Ledbetter…
Why do you think wage inequality is so prevalent?
Employers save a lot of money by not paying equal pay for equal work. Women have been held back for fear of losing their job.
How did you become a women’s equality activist?
When I learned I had worked for almost 20 years paid 30-40% less than males doing the same job, which meant my salary, overtime and retirement were not equal, I had to stand up for me and later for all.
What else can women do to ensure equal pay for equal work?
Know the laws and research the company policy.
When we lose 23 cents every hour, every day, every paycheck, every job, over our entire lives, what we lose can’t be measured in dollars.