National Partnership for Women & Families

Legislation to Undo Damage from Supreme Court's Ledbetter Ruling

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President National Partnership for Women & Families on Today's Introduction of the 'Fair Pay Restoration Act'
Washington, D.C. — July 20, 2007 —
"The bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate today would restore a critical protection against workplace discrimination, and undo the effects of a Supreme Court ruling that amounted to nothing less than an assault on the rights of working women.  The bill would effectively reverse the Supreme Court’s disastrous ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, in which the Court broke with years of case law in denying justice to a victim of long-term wage discrimination.  We thank Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Barack Obama (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Jack Reed (D-RI) for introducing this bill, the “Fair Pay Restoration Act.”

The Ledbetter ruling was a terrible step backward for women, and for all who care about protecting workers from discrimination.  Lilly Ledbetter experienced egregious and long-term wage discrimination.  When she filed suit, she won before a jury that considered all the evidence on both sides, but a narrow majority of the Supreme Court applied a distorted reading of the law to give the perpetrator a free pass.

Congress plainly intended the nation’s anti-discrimination laws to protect employees like Lilly Ledbetter from exactly the kind of discrimination she suffered.  This bill makes that clear - again - by effectively restoring the law to its pre-Ledbetter state.  We thank the bill’s sponsors for recognizing the urgency and championing this important legislation.  We urge Congress to move quickly, and President Bush to sign the resulting bill into law without delay."

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

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