"Fair Pay" bill signed into law - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

"Fair Pay" bill signed into law

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

 January 29, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A new law makes it easier for women and others to sue for wage discrimination.

The legislation cancels out a Supreme Court ruling last year that declared workers had to file wage claims within 180 days of a company's decision to pay that worker less than someone doing the same work.

Under the legislation, every discriminatory paycheck would extend the statute of limitations for another 180 days.

"I always felt equal pay was necessary regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, male or female. I think whatever job you have you should be able to get the same kind, not based on sex, but the qualifications you bring to the table," said Dougherty County Commissioner Maurlene Edwards.

The measure is known as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. And it is named for a woman who said she didn't become aware of a pay discrepancy until she neared the end of her career at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant.

Ledbetter was present for the ceremony. The law effectively overturns a Supreme Court decision that had strictly limited workers' ability to file such suits.

The House passed the bill this week and the Senate passed the measure last week. President Obama signed the measure Thursday.

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