Pay equity plaintiff to address Democratic National Convention

Chris Rizo Aug. 18, 2008, 1:21pm

Lilly Ledbetter

DENVER, Colo. (Legal Newsline)-The woman who lost a pay equity case before the U.S. Supreme Court this year will address the Democratic National Convention here next week.

Lilly Ledbetter sued Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., will speak Aug. 26, the second night of the presidential nominating convention, organizers said Monday.

Ledbetter sued Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear because she said the company was paying here less than male employees who held similar jobs during her 20 years with the company. She was one of only a handful of female supervisors at the plant in Gadsden, Ala.

A jury sided with Ledbetter, awarding her back-pay and approximately $3.3 million in compensatory and punitive damages, but the Supreme Court affirmed a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit decision that Ledbetter waited too long to sue.

The high court ruled 5-4 that employees cannot challenge ongoing pay discrimination if the employer's original discriminatory pay decision occurred outside of the statute of limitations period.

"We are honored that Lilly Ledbetter will address the Democratic Convention," said Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said in a statement. "The fact that women are paid less than their male coworkers for doing the same job is unacceptable in the 21st century and counter to both the progress we've made and our shared values as Americans."

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