By Julie Marsh
...if he had been in Washington, he would have voted no because the bill "opens us up for lawsuits, for all kinds of problems and difficulties."The impetus behind the Fair Pay Act is a suit filed by Lilly Ledbetter that went to the Supreme Court:
Lilly Ledbetter was a supervisor at a Goodyear Tire plant in Gadsden, Ala., for almost 20 years...When she was near retirement, she got an anonymous letter listing the salaries of the men who held the same job. While she was making $3,727 a month, the lowest paid man, with far less seniority, was getting $4,286.Unlike my time in the Air Force, where I had a pay scale tacked up in my cubicle and I received the same pay as any other 1st Lieutenant with three years of service, I had no idea what my co-workers were making when I was in the private sector. We didn't talk about it. Salaries in the private sector - even hourly wages - are not typically disclosed in casual conversation, and there's certainly no pay scale to refer to.
The company declined Ledbetter’s offer to settle for the difference between her earnings and that lowest-paid man’s — about $60,000. A jury awarded her $223,776 in back pay and more than $3 million in punitive damages.
Goodyear appealed, and the case [went to] the Supreme Court...The court ruled 5-to-4 against Ledbetter, saying that she should have filed her suit within 180 days of receiving her first paycheck in which Goodyear discriminated against her.
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