The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing Thursday on the Fair Pay Restoration Act. This bill would correct the recent US Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. that gutted Title VII pay discrimination protections for women workers. The companion bill passed in the House in July 2007.
“The Court’s decision gives employers free rein to continue such discrimination, and it leaves workers powerless to stop it. That result defies both justice and common sense,” said Senator Ted Kennedy, who chairs the committee, in a press release. Kennedy introduced the Fair Pay Restoration Act in the Senate last summer, shortly after the Ledbetter decision.
Lilly Ledbetter, the plaintiff in that case, Margot Dorfman, Chief Executive Officer of the US Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Samuel Bagenstos, Associate Dean at the University of Washington School of Law in St. Louis, MO, and Eric Dreiband, of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in Washington, DC all testified.
“Goodyear may never have to pay me what it cheated me out of. But if this bill passes, I’ll have an even richer reward because I’ll know that my daughters and granddaughters, and all workers, will get a better deal. That’s what makes this fight worth fighting and it’s what makes this fight one we have to win,” Lilly Ledbetter told the committee members.