April 23, 2008


Contact: (202) 675-2312, media@dcaclu.org

Washington, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union reiterated its strong support for H.R. 2831, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is being debated on the Senate floor today and is slated for a vote this evening. This legislation is aimed at restoring the right of American workers to seek justice if they find themselves subject to wage discrimination, a right jeopardized by the 2007 Supreme Court decision Ledbetter v. Goodyear.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

"The Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear rolled back decades of civil rights law, all but shutting the courthouse doors on victims of wage discrimination. Thanks to this ruling, Americans now have only 180 days from the time their employer decides to discriminate against them to file a claim. Before Ledbetter, it was well accepted that each paycheck lessened by ongoing discrimination reset the 180 day clock. This is vitally important in those workplaces in which employees are discouraged, if not forbidden, from discussing their salaries. So it would be all too easy for unscrupulous employers to hide their unfair pay structure for 180 days, and never be held to task for discriminating. Employers should not be allowed to benefit from wage discrimination.

"Equal pay for equal work is a core American value. In these difficult economic times, when every dollar counts, workers around the country will be watching this vote closely."

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