September 24, 2010 at 14:43 PM EDT
Lessons from Ledbetter: Continuing the Fight for Pay Equity
Shortly after the President took office, he welcomed Lilly Ledbetter to the White House and signed a new law bearing her name.  This historic legislation sent a clear message that wage discrimination is not only bad for business, it’s illegal. This week, I had the opportunity to welcome Lilly to the Department of Labor – to hear her inspiring story and talk with her about our continued efforts for equal pay in the workplace. While I was familiar with Lilly’s remarkable story, I’m still struck by how her nearly decade long fight for justice began. During an ordinary day on the job, Lilly went to her mailbox and discovered a slip of paper – an anonymous note – with her name and that of two male colleagues. Beside each name were their salaries, startling numbers that awoke a sense of injustice and set into motion her struggle on behalf of women across the nation. Like many women in today’s workplace, she was faced with a difficult choice. She could remain silent or she could speak up for herself, and in so doing speak out for countless other women across the nation who may have unknowingly faced a similar situation. I am grateful she had the courage to pursue the latter. read more
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