Brooklyn, N.Y. – On January 29, 2009, President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 into law to protect American workers from wage discrimination based on their sex, gender, race, or ethnicity. Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke issued the following statement to commemorate the Fifth Anniversary of the law’s enactment.
The law extended the statute of limitations for lawsuits that allege wage discrimination and in doing so allows workers who have been victimized additional time to claim damages. In many instances – as occurred to Lily Ledbetter when she worked at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. – workers who have experienced wage discrimination only learn about the problem after several years or even several decades. Previously, workers were unable to pursue legal action due to the limited time that they had to file a lawsuit.
“Because she was a woman, for almost twenty years, Goodyear Tire paid Lily Ledbetter less than her male counterparts, who had been hired for the same job. This discrimination in pay was illegal. But, until Congress enacted a law that extended the statute of limitations, Lily Ledbetter and other victims of wage discrimination could not pursue legal action, and companies could effectively avoid punishment for unlawful discrimination,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “Finally, in 2009, we established that we will not tolerate wage discrimination based on sex, gender, race, or ethnicity.”
U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.