Republican Senators Block Fair Pay

In response to the failed cloture vote on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007, People For the American Way president Kathryn Kolbert released the following statement:

“Republican Senators made it painfully clear tonight that they take their marching orders from business lobbyists, not the American people. Congress had a rare opportunity in the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to reverse the destructive Supreme Court ruling in Ledbetter vs. Goodyear. The House of Representatives delivered for workers, but Senate Republicans stopped it in its tracks.”

“The Ledbetter decision, written by President Bush’s nominee Samuel Alito, made it easier for businesses to practice pay discrimination with impunity. Workers who face pay discrimination but fail to file a complaint within 180 days of the initial discriminatory act are left with severely limited legal recourse, even if they do not learn of the discrimination until much later. This is unfair and unpractical but all too consistent with the larger effort by right-wing judges to undermine the ability of Americans to seek redress when wronged by powerful interests.

“We’re deeply disappointed, but not surprised, by the decision of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to aggressively fight fair pay for American workers. We encourage Senate Democrats to continue pushing for passage of the legislation. The difficulties facing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007 drive home for us the importance of having fair-minded judges on the Supreme Court who will protect and uphold equal rights for all.”

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People For the American Way has also produced a series of short videos featuring Lilly Ledbetter, the factory worker who faced years of sex discrimination on the job and was paid far less than men doing the same work. She won a discrimination case before a federal jury, but she was ultimately denied justice by the Supreme Court. In the videos, Ledbetter discusses her case, the impact of the ruling, and her views of Justice Alito and the Supreme Court.

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