2014 LAWS Annual Conference
"Will Leaning In Shatter the Glass Ceiling?"
Saturday, February 1, 2014
9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Emory University School of Law, Tull Auditorium
Keynote Speaker: Lilly Ledbetter
About the Speaker: Lilly Ledbetter worked as a supervisor at Goodyear Tire and Rubber’s plant in Gadsden, Alabama from 1979 to 1998. When she began her position as an area manager, a position normally held by men, her salary was equal to that of her male counterparts. Towards the end of her career at Goodyear, Ledbetter discovered a disturbing piece of information – her salary was well below the lowest paid male area manager with equal or less seniority. Outraged by this blatant discrimination, Ledbetter brought an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Complaint (EOCC) against Goodyear, and won.
Goodyear appealed the verdict, however, and the case was brought before the Supreme Court in 2007. Although, as voiced in Justice Ginsburg’s dissent, Ledbetter brought an overwhelmingly clear case of employment discrimination, the Court ruled in favor of Goodyear based on the procedural technicality that Ledbetter did not file her suit within 180 days after pay decisions were made. After the decision, Ledbetter found supporters in numerous legal organizations as well as individual politicians who began drafting a bill to eliminate the procedural barrier for filing such discrimination cases. On January 29, 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law as his first piece of legislation, making it easier for women to file suits of employment discrimination.