Vote yes on Lilly Ledbetter

Call your senators today to support fair pay.

By Lynn Harris
Published April 23, 2008 6:47PM (UTC)
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OK, here is a post that is not about Italy. Remember Lilly Ledbetter? In deciding her case approximately one year ago, the Supreme Court imposed a nearly impossible-to-meet statute of limitations on pay discrimination claims, thus seriously, almost comically, limiting the ability of women who have suffered such discrimination to seek back wages and other compensation. That's the bad news. Here's the good: Heeding the suggestion of this letter writer, the House passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which -- basically by restating the relevant law as it had been interpreted for years, i.e. that each discriminatory paycheck, not just the first, counts as a new act of discrimination -- will clean up the court's mess, ensuring that victims of bias will have a shot at justice.

Now it's the Senate's turn to vote -- tonight at 6 p.m. EDT, word is -- and NOW wants you to give senators an earful.

From NOW: "The Supreme Court's decision could push back much of the progress that women have been making in closing the wage gap. Congress must restore those rights. Call your Senators' office[s] today at 1-866-338-1015. This toll-free number will be available through [Wednesday]. The Senate switchboard operator will answer, and you can ask to be connected with the senators from your state. For each of your two senators, leave a message with your name and address (some will only count calls from residents of their own state) and say that you hope the Senator will vote for the Fair Pay Act that is coming up for a vote [today] at 6 PM" -- and encourage his or her colleagues to do the same. We do, after all, need a veto-proof (PDF) majority.

"With your help, we have generated enough steam to get it before the Senate," says NOW. "Please help us keep the pressure on until this bill becomes law."

Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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