Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The US Senate may vote on legislation to fix the Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co as early as Wednesday, April 23rd! The Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would ensure that victims lf pay discrimination have a real chance to pursue their claims.

During the last few months, thousands of people around the country have worked tirelessly to help provide American workers who are victims of pay discrimination their day in court. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 2831). the version of the Fair Pay Restoration Act that is going to the Senate floor, remedies an erroneous Supreme Court ruling on workplace discrimination. The bill reaffirms that civil rights have legally enforceable remedies. The House has passed the bill and now the ball is in the Senate's court.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Without the "fix," the impact of the Courts decision will likely be widespread, affecting pay discrimination cases under Title VII involving women and racial and ethnic minorities, as well as cases under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and under the American with Disabilities Act.

A letter from Senator Evan Bayh:

April 21, 2008

Dear Freedom Of Speech Staff,

Thank you for contacting me regarding equal pay and pay discrimination I am grateful for your thoughts and always welcome the advice of those I am honored to represent.

I share your concerns and I believe that we must do all we can to ensure that all forms of discrimination are ended. As we approach the 21st century, the wage gap disparity between men and women should be erased. Although women's wages have increased significantly in recent years, we must not settle for better wages, but strive for equal wages.

In 1963, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act attempting to establish fair and comparable wages for African Americans and women in the workplace. The Equal Pay Act was one of several bills passed during the Civil Rights era in an effort to curb existing discriminatory practices and achieve pay equity. Unfortunately, thirty years later, there are still discrepancies in men and women's pay. On average, women earn 76 cents on the dollar of a man's salary for equivalent work.

As you know, on May 21, 2007 the United States Supreme Court ruled in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., that workers must sue for pay discrimination within six month's after the original pay-setting decision. This time limitation applies regardless of how long the unfair pay continues, even if the discrimination is ongoing, and the employee had no way of knowing that others were being paid more for the same work. As a result, workers receiving an unfairly low wages today are unable to hold the company accountable if they did not discover the discrimination soon after it first began.

Two bills dealing with this issue were introduced in the Senate in response to the Ledbetter decision. The First, S. 1928, the Equal Remedies Opportunity Act, would repeal the federal law that imposed a cap on damages awards in cases of intentional employment discrimination.

The second, S 1843, the Fair Pay Restoration Act, would start the clock for filing pay discrimination claims when compensation is received, rather than when the discrimination occurs. Each discriminatory paycheck would restart the clock for filing a discrimination claim. Workers could bring suit as long as they file their claim within six months of their most recent discriminatory paycheck.

Currently, both bills are before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pension (HELP). While I am not a member of the Senate HELP Committee, please rest assured, if these bills come before the full Senate, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.

I value your input and hope you will continue to keep me informed of the issues important to you.

Senator Evan Bayh