House Dems Prepare to Fix Wage Claims Legislatively; Ledbetter to Testify at Hearings

Lilly Ledbetter, the plaintiff in a recent workplace discrimination lawsuit against Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, will be joining House Democrats in a press conference on Capitol Hill this afternoon to address the way in which the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 failed to protect her against wage discrimination based on sex. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against Ledbetter on May 29, citing Title VII, which says that a plaintiff must file charges of workplace discrimination within 180 days of the original discriminatory act, a time period that had expired for Ledbetter.

At today’s press conference, House Education and Labor Committee Chair George Miller (D-CA), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Eleanor Homes Norton (D-DC), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Artur Davis (D-AL), and Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) will introduce new legislation to rectify the Supreme Court’s decision and strengthen an employee’s ability to pursue a case alleging wage discrimination.

Later this afternoon, Ledbetter will testify before the House Education and Labor Committee.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), who sits on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, has indicated that she will also write legislation to ensure that a worker can use old evidence of unequal pay as proof that he or she is still being discriminated against. Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA), who chairs the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Tom Harkin (D-IA) are joining Clinton to legislatively correct Title VII.


AP 5/29/07; Washington Post 5/29/07; Supreme Court Opinion Ledbetter vs. Goodyear Rubber and Tire Co. 5/29/07

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