She’s seventy, she’s a grandmother and she danced with the president at his Inaugural Ball! What an honor. For both of them. She’s Lilly Ledbetter of Alabama. Finally, after TEN YEARS, in January 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act became the first bill our hero, President Obama, signed into law. And she was right there.
Lovely Lilly Ledbetter has quite the little story. In 1979, she became a working mother with her job as a plant supervisor at Goodyear Tire Company in Alabama. One fine day, in 1998, she got to work, and when she checked her mail she found a note someone sent her showing her pay versus three men who did the same job as she, but the men got paid a whole lot more. And had been. For like twenty years. Imagine.
So, she sued. Her case went all the way to the Supreme Court! And then – she lost. They – being the SUPREEEME Court, said she “could have, should have, sued, when the pay decisions were made, instead of waiting beyond the 180-day statutory charging period.” What???? That did not seem fair. She didn’t KNOW!!!! She was getting punished for something she didn’t know. I hate that. So did she and so did a lot of other people, including Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.
In the fine tradition of her suffragist sisters, she fought – for ten years – and we all won when on January 27, 2009, the silly Supreme Court decision was reversed and The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act was signed into law! Yay!!!!