I am proud to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, an Act named after a courageous advocate, and my dear friend, Lilly.
When Lilly discovered in 1998 that she had experienced 19 years of gender-based pay discrimination, she took action and sued her employer. While she won that lawsuit in court and was awarded damages, the decision was later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on the technicality that the suit was not filed within 180 days of the discriminatory action.
In 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which extended the timelines for filing lawsuits related to discriminatory practices, thus eliminating the grounds upon which Lilly was denied any damages in 2007. This Act was passed to ensure women do not experience the injustice Lilly did.
Closing the gender wage gap is critical to women’s ability to be financially stable and lead independent lives. Lilly’s courage inspires all of us to fight for equal pay and gender equality, and underscores the significant impact unfair wages play in women’s lives.
CWLC celebrates Lilly and every woman who has or will stand up for themselves and others.
Onward in the pursuit of justice,
Executive Director, California Women’s Law Center
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