Saturday, April 26, 2008

Voinovich Stiffs Working Women

The Senate voted on Thursday on a cloture motion to get off debate on the H.R. 2831 otherwise known as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007. Lilly Ledbetter is a woman who worked for Goodyear in Alabama for over 20 years. When she received an unsigned note, she found out that she was being paid substantially less for the same work as three men. She filed a Federal lawsuit based on the 1964 Civil Rights Act for wage discrimination. She won a verdict of over three million dollars.

Her verdict, however, was taken away from her by the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court found that Federal required Ms. Ledbetter to bring her action within 180 days of the first time she was discriminated against, which was when she was first paid less money than the male employees. The fact that she didn't know of such discrimination didn't matter to the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would have changed the language in the Federal law that the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court relied on in reaching its decision. The bill had passed the House and was being debated in the Senate. The vote on the cloture motion was extremely important since it would have been harder to have opposed the bill itself than the cloture motion.

The cloture motion needed 60 votes to pass. It received 56. Forty-two Senators opposed the cloture motion. One of those was Ohio's own George Voinovich. George Voinovich stiffed working women with his vote.

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