FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senate's Failure to Overcome Fair Pay Act Filibuster a Bitter Disappointment, But Fight for Fair Pay Will Continue
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, DC — April 23, 2008 — “The Senate’s failure to stop the filibuster against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is a bitter disappointment, a blow to working women and others who experience wage discrimination, and a reflection of the callous disregard some Senators have for the fundamental American principle of equal pay for equal work.
Preventing an up-or-down vote on a bill that would simply restore the law that existed in virtually every region of the country until last May is callous and indefensible. This vote will not stand.
Last May’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. was nothing less than an assault on the rights of working women. A sharply divided Court broke with years of case law in ruling that employees can only file pay discrimination claims within 180 days of an employer’s initial decision to discriminate, even if the employer keeps discriminating in the employee’s pay for years.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is a modest and targeted response to that ruling, which makes it just about impossible for victims of pay discrimination to seek justice in the courts, no matter how severe the discrimination they face.
The House of Representatives passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act last year. Now it’s the Senate’s turn. We need Congress to restore fairness to our workplaces. Every Senator who voted to circumvent this vote will have to explain that decision to working women. This was one of the most important votes in recent memory for working women, and it is a fight we will continue.”
The National Partnership is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting access to quality health care, fairness in the workplace, and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.