Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007

Congress has recently sought to overturn the Supreme Court's recent horrendous decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear.

To refresh your memory, Ledbetter is the case in which the "moral majority" on the Supreme Court (unbelievably) held that a woman who had been paid less than her fellow male employees for decades had no standing to sue because she didn't bring the suit within 180 days of her pay being set.

You know, because upon starting a new job, everyone's salary is printed in the company newsletter, making it easy to compare salaries across race and gender lines.

Anyway, I applaud the House of Representatives for passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007. One, this law specifically allows for lawsuits to be brought within 180 days of the last discriminatory paycheck- a big difference than the previous 180-days-of-pay-being-set standard.

Secondly, we are finally seeing some checks and balances in our government.

Not surprisingly, however, the Bush Administration is opposed to this new law. As he states, "The Administration supports our nations anti-discrimination laws" and so it "strongly opposes the Lilly Ledbetter FAIR PAY ACT of 2007." [emphasis mine].

*shaking head in confusion*

In our post-1984 country where war is peace, I guess it makes sense to support non-discrimination by opposing anti-discrimination laws.

But seriously, the Administration's reasoning is that this law would allow for discrimination cases to be brought "years or even decades" after the discriminatory conduct occurred. It seems as though the Bush Administration doesn't quite "get" the very nature of pay discrimination is that it is ongoing and that the harm continues much longer than the date that the discriminatory pay is set.

It's a continuing harm that can last, for years or even decades.

It's not a difficult concept, really. But Bush is showing his disdain for the working man (okay, probably woman) by so openly caring more about the "harm" this law may cause businesses than the constitutional rights of individuals that discrimination laws are meant to protect.

Let's see if this lame duck has the gumption to veto this one.

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