January 29, 2009
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On President Obama Signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into Law
Today, President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allows employees to sue based on alleged discrimination within 180 days of their last paycheck.
WASHINGTON—The AFT commends President Obama for signing this important piece of legislation into law and sending a clear signal that the issue of fair pay is one of his administration's top priorities. As enacted, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act corrects the U.S. Supreme Court's misinterpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 regarding the timely filing of a pay-discrimination claim. In a time of economic uncertainty, President Obama has sent a strong message about the rights and protections that should be accorded to all workers.
Helping workers retain their right to fair and equitable compensation is one of the AFT's priorities. For this reason, we have long supported Lilly Ledbetter's quest to ensure that all workers receive equal pay for equal work. At the AFT convention last July, Lilly Ledbetter's advocacy was recognized when she was given our 2008 Women's Rights Award. We were proud to honor her then, and we are pleased that her fight is now memorialized in a law that protects the rights of all workers.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.