More than 60 of the most esteemed law professors from across the nation, with vast expertise in employment discrimination, civil rights and constitutional law, today urged every United States Senator to vote to reverse the U.S Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Time & Rubber Co. The Senate is scheduled to take up the legislation this evening.
The letter says, in part: “This decision carries disastrous consequences for victims of intentional pay discrimination… [It] departs — and retreats — from prior law in a way that creates significant obstacles to workers’ ability to challenge illegal pay discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion, or national origin… We urge you to support [legislation] to restore longstanding federal civil rights law and give life to Title VII’s promise of fair pay regardless of race, sex, color, religion or national origin.”
Signers include: Samuel R. Bagenstos, Professor of Law, Washington University School of Law; Deborah L. Brake, Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh; Bari Burke, Professor of Law, The University of Montana School of Law; Joanna L. Grossman, Professor of Law, Hofstra Law School; Dawn Johnsen, Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law Bloomington; Paul Steven Miller, Henry M. Jackson Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law; Helen L. Norton, Associate Professor of Law, University of Colorado; Theodore M. Shaw, Former Director-Counsel and President of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; and Verna L. Williams, Professor, University of Cincinnati College of Law; and Wendy W. Williams, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center. [Please note, law school affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.]
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is designed to correct last May’s Supreme Court decision, in which a sharply divided Court ruled that employees must file pay discrimination claims within 180 days of an employer’s initial decision to discriminate, even if the employer keeps discriminating in the employee’s pay for years. “The Court’s narrow interpretation makes it just about impossible for victims of pay discrimination to seek justice in the courts, no matter how severe the discrimination they face,” said National Partnership for Women & Families President Debra L. Ness. “By passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Congress can correct this ruling and help restore fairness to our workplaces. We thank the law professors for their support, and remind Senators how deeply this vote matters to women, people of color, seniors and many others. ”