Lilly Ledbetter Addresses AAUW and LWVGB
in Observance of Women's History Month
On Saturday, March 6, 2010, the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham co-sponsored a luncheon at The Club in observance of Women's History Month. The guest speaker was Lilly Ledbetter, plaintive in the Supreme Court Case Lilly M. Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. Ledbetter recounted the history of this case in her presentation "My Story: Breaking Barriers to Pay Equity for Women." After working for Goodyear for nineteen years, she discovered that she had been paid far less for the same work as her male co-workers. She filed a lawsuit against Goodyear. The United States Supreme Court ultimately decided her case which she lost. The Supreme Court ruled against Ledbetter by a vote of 5-4 stating that she had waited too long to file suit. However, Ledbetter's case led to the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed by Congress and enacted into law by President Obama on January 29, 2009. She advocates for companion legislation, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which has stalled in the Senate. As stated by Ledbetter and Linda Hallman, Executive Director of the AAUW, in "The Huffington Post (www.huffingtonpost.com), January 29, 2010, this act would "close loopholes, strengthen incentives to prevent pay discrimination and bring the Equal Pay Act [signed by President John F. Kennedy in 1963] in line with other civil rights laws. And it would also prohibit retaliation against workers who inquire about employers' wage practices or disclose their own wages--something Lilly could have used in her case."