Archive for Friday, January 30, 2009

Obama signs first bill into law, on equal pay

January 30, 2009


— Declaring that ending pay disparity is not just a women’s issue, President Barack Obama signed legislation Thursday that gives workers more time to take their pay discrimination cases to court.

Lilly Ledbetter, the Alabama woman whose story was the impetus behind the new law, stood alongside Obama as he signed the first bill of his presidency. Also in the East Room of the White House were labor, women’s, civil rights advocates and members of Congress for whom the bill was a priority.

“Equal pay is by no means just a women’s issue, it’s a family issue,” Obama said. “And in this economy, when so many folks are already working harder for less and struggling to get by, the last thing they can afford is losing part of each month’s paycheck to simple and plain discrimination.”

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act effectively nullifies a 2007 Supreme Court decision that denied Ledbetter an opportunity for redress.

The bill, which amends the 1964 Civil Rights Act, also applies to discrimination based on factors such as race, religion, national origin, disability or age.


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