(Washington, DC, January 29, 2009) The American Humanist Association today praised President Barack Obama for signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law—the first law signed in his presidency. The law protects women and minorities against pay discrimination.
“Today an important step has been taken toward equality and fairness,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “We’re now one step closer to shattering the glass ceiling, and it’s about time. The people clearly want change and a more equitable world, one with equal opportunity for all citizens. The American Humanist Association applauds President Obama for taking this step in the right direction, and pledges to support similar bills and measures in the future that will help end discrimination, not just against women but against religious minorities, gays, lesbians and other marginalized groups.”
Karen Frantz, policy and advocacy associate of the American Humanist Association agreed. “In 2008 we launched a campaign to mobilize our members and supporters to take action on this critical issue of gender equality. Without the Ledbetter Act, justice delayed becomes justice denied. But now women are in a better position to redress the grievance of workplace inequities.”
The Fair Pay Act was drafted after Lilly Ledbetter lost her Supreme Court case challenging proven pay discrimination by her employer, Goodyear. Ledbetter made far less than her male colleagues for doing the same work, losing approximately $200,000 in salary and more in pension and social security benefits. However, the Supreme Court ruled that, even though she was a victim of gender discrimination, and even though it had taken time for the knowledge of her discrimination to become clear, she still had not made her claim in a timely enough manner to seek redress. The Fair Pay Act was in direct response to the ruling and remedies the artificial time constraint hurdle.
“There should be no statute of limitations on fairness,” concluded Frantz.
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The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.