Her advocacy for equality is US law

     (AAPNW-IL) –  “Lilly Ledbetter’s inspiring message and tireless activism helped to reshape federal law to ensure that women and men earn equal pay for equal work,” said Governor Pat Quinn. “Today, we salute Lilly for reminding us that we must continue to fight to protect women’s fundamental rights by strengthening our labor and human rights laws.”

     After nearly 20 years of working at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber plant in Gadsden, Alabama, she uncovered an inequality of pay between her and her male colleagues. Ledbetter filed a gender pay discrimination suit in federal court and won a jury verdict of more than $3 million, however the U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the lower court’s ruling. She did not stop her platform, but continued to raise awareness about unfair pay practices until Congress finally passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. In 2009, President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and on October 14, 2010, at the Chicago Cultural Center, Governor Quinn followed suit, issuing an official proclamation, “Lilly Ledbetter Day” in Illinois at the Chicago Cultural Center.

     “Hearing Lilly Ledbetter tell us her story first hand underscores the importance of our everyday work and the struggle for fairness in the workplace,” said Rocco Claps, IDHR Director. “Whether through our investigations of individual charges or through sponsoring programs, such as this today; we recommit ourselves to fighting discrimination in Illinois.”

     The Governor also expanded protections under Illinois’ Equal Pay Act by extending the time period for individuals to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor, and the statute of limitations for individuals to sue for back pay in state court. He inked his approval on this in August 2009. “Lilly Ledbetter’s story of courage reminds us of the sacrifices required to advance the cause of pay equity,” said Catherine Shannon, IDOL Director. “We thank her for continuing the fight – likewise, we will keep working diligently to ensure pay equity in the workplace.”

     Most recently, the Governor also proclaimed August 26, 2010 as Women’s Equality Day, and was joined by local and federal governments to commemorate the 90th anniversary of women’s right to vote.

Published by on October 2010. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Palette Journal, Back Porch Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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