President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Equal Pay bill this morning. I nearly cried when I saw this image on my computer streaming live. That’s Ms. Ledbetter standing behind the President and next to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Lily Ledbetter lost her case in 2006 in the Supreme Court, who ruled that she needed to have sued Goodyear Tire within 180 days of the first instance of pay inequality.
The problem was that the first instance of pay inequality happened in the LATE 70′S!! Seriously, do you know at this moment what the guy sitting next to you at work makes? And would you ask?
But I bet you’d ask several years after leaving the job, when you’re sitting in a bar with former coworkers kvetching about how much your old job sucked.
This bill today removed that 180 day limitation. So even if you found out several decades later, you can still sue.
The only sad part about today is that Lily Ledbetter didn’t get some kind of reparation. Because think about it–since she earned less than her male coworkers, she received less 401K matching and her pension is less. She may also have been unable to save as much in other areas in her life.
Unfair. And as a woman who also found out about pay inequality after the fact, I applaud this.
Now we just need promotion equality. Don’t promote the guy with the loudest voice in the room, or your drinking buddy. Promote the person who really worked hard and made significant contributions, but perhaps just didn’t walk around the office swinging their balls everywhere.
Ahem. Nerve hit.
Want more stories from the inside of Wall Street? Please buy my book Three Little Securities!