MAKING HISTORY: The Lilly Ledbetter Act
In honor of Women's History Month, we are celebrating with 31 days of women's history! Every day in March, we will highlight an historic moment, as told through the personal stories of our MAKERS.
Today we highlight Lilly Ledbetter and the activism that led to the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009.
After Ledbetter received an anonymous note disclosing the dramatic disparity between her pay and that of her male peers, she knew she had to fight. The Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. case made it all the way to the Supreme Court where her claim was ultimately denied, as she had not filed within 180 days of her first discriminatory check. In dissent of the decision, Justice and MAKER Ruth Bader Ginsburg urged Congress to address this issue that affects women all over America.
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 the previous legislation so employees can sue up to 180 days after receiving ANY discriminatory paycheck. In 2012, she gave a powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Ledbetter never received any compensation for the discrimination she experienced, but in her words:
"It was never about the money. From day one, when I got that note and I thought 'this is not right'…and it cannot stay without me standing up for myself."