Wednesday, April 25 , 2018, 11:58 pm | Fair 52º


Kids Speaking Up: Equal Pay for Equal Work

Finally, many years too late, we have a law that protects women from pay discrimination.

Eighty-nine years after the passing of the 19th amendment, when women all across the nation were given the right to vote, it is ridiculous that some women still aren’t getting paid the same salary as their male counterparts, based solely on the fact that they are female.

Katie Fearon
Katie Fearon
As of Jan. 29, 2009, President Obama signed the first bill of his presidency, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This act ensures that any woman has full right to go to court and challenge the fact that she is being paid less than her male co-workers.

It all started in 1979, when a woman named Lilly Ledbetter began working at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber plant in Gadsden, Ala. Ledbetter worked as supervisor, a position almost always held by a man. Over the years she had suspected she was being paid less than her male co-workers, even if they held a position lower than supervisor. In 1997, it was found that Ledbetter was correct, and that while she was only being paid $3,727 a month, other male supervisors at the plant were being paid anywhere from $4,287 to $5,236 a month.

Over her time working for Goodyear, Ledbetter made approximately $200,000 less than what she was supposed to have been paid. From this resulted a court case, Ledbetter vs. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., and thus resulted in the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

As a nation that has come so far in breaking down cultural barriers, it surprises me to learn that some women aren’t being paid as much as they should be, and that up until last week, there were no laws protecting women from pay discrimination.

It was determined in 2005, that the average woman earns 77 cents to every man’s dollar, and that number is even lower for African-American women with 71 cents, and for Latina women, only 58 cents.

Obviously, we still have a ways to go.

Although the statistics sound bleak, the passing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into U.S. law is a huge step for pay equality in the country, and it should help everyone, regardless of gender, race or religion, to reach their highest earning potential.

Katie Fearon is a freshman at Dos Pueblos High.

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