People For the American Way will begin running radio ads next week in New Hampshire focusing on Senator John Sununu’s support of George Bush's ulta-conservative nominees to the Supreme Court, and releasing a web video with the same theme.
The ads feature the story of Lilly Ledbetter, a factory worker who faced years of sex discrimination on the job and was paid far less then men doing the same work, won a discrimination case, but was ultimately denied justice by the U.S. Supreme Court. The ads urge New Hampshire citizens to contact Senator Sununu and voice their support for fair-minded judges.
“New Hampshire citizens need to know that John Sununu has helped George Bush put justices on the Supreme Court who are way out of step with basic American values — even something as basic as equal pay for equal work,” said People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert. “Senator Sununu had a choice to stand up for ordinary people and demand Justices who respected the right to equal pay for equal work. Instead he rubber stamped George Bush’s nominees and helped slam the courthouse door on working women.”
The transcript reads:
For years, Lilly Ledbetter was paid far less than the men in her factory for doing the same work - and she proved it in court. But the company appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and a new Justice nominated by George W. Bush and supported by New Hampshire Senator John Sununu wrote the opinion that denied her equal pay.
Tell John Sununu we need judges who will protect workers — not take our rights away.
You can learn more about People For the American Way's activities around the Supreme Court at www.SaveTheCourt.org.
Ledbetter v. Goodyear — Lilly Ledbetter received an anonymous tip late in her career with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. that she had been consistently paid much less than her male coworkers. She proved her case and a federal jury awarded her back pay and punitive damages, but Goodyear appealed. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled against her 5-4.
The Court's ruling, written by right-wing Justice Samuel Alito (nominated by George W. Bush and supported by John Sununu), said that Lilly should have filed a complaint within 180 days of the time her supervisors gave her discriminatory evaluations that resulted in her being paid less than her male coworkers.
The Court rejected a longstanding interpretation of the law that gave workers 180 days to file a complaint after receiving any discriminatory paycheck, regardless of when the discrimination began. The ruling denied justice for Lilly, and makes it easier for companies to get away with discrimination. Thousands of workers who face discrimination based on sex, race, religion or nationality may have no legal recourse.