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Sunday, April 14, 2024
The Eagle

Lilly Ledbetter emphasizes issues with gender wage gap

Lilly Ledbetter voiced her fight for equal pay for women to AU students March 18 in Mary Graydon Center 4 and 5 as the second Kennedy Political Union speaker of the semester.

Ledbetter inspired the name of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which allows women to more easily fight against pay discrimination, according to KPU’s press release.

Telling her story about earning less than her male colleagues at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Ledbetter emphasized equal pay is not an issue just for factory managers, but for lawyers, doctors and other highly-educated fields.

She said other women face challenges from living day-to-day on their paychecks and cannot take the risks she did and go to court. She noted that it took nine years of her life to get to court.

“We gotta get some laws, we must get legislation, we must get people into office that will support us,” Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter encouraged students to fight for equal pay for equal work and said the U.S. has a long way to go to get true equality for women in the workplace.

Ledbetter sued Goodyear Tire to recover pay for the work that she did where she earned less compared to her male colleagues who held the same job.

Eventually, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006 ruled she could not receive payment beyond the statute of limitations of 180 days.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg challenged Congress to revise the law in order to have the 180-day limit on suing for unequal pay in the dissenting opinion, according to Ledbetter. President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on Jan. 29, 2009.

“Unequal pay for equal work touches each one of you in this room in some way or another, Ledbetter said. “It touches somebody in your family. So many families are living paycheck to paycheck.”

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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