Official Statement by President Joe Biden
Fourteen years ago, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act became the law of the land as the first bill signed during the Obama-Biden Administration. This law creates important protections against pay discrimination and has helped close persistent gender and racial wage gaps that disadvantage women, particularly women of color, in the workplace.
But fourteen years after the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and nearly fifty years after the landmark Equal Pay Act of 1963, we still have work to do to achieve equal pay. Women workers, who perform essential work for our economy and families, are still paid, on average, 84 cents for every dollar paid to men. For women of color, the gap is even greater.
Vice President Harris and I remain committed to strengthening equal pay protections for workers so we can continue to grow our economy, strengthen our communities, and live up to our Nation’s core values of equality and fairness. Last year, I signed an Executive Order to advance pay equity for the Federal workforce and to promote efforts to achieve pay equity for job applicants and employees of Federal contractors, and I’m proud to have signed legislation to provide new protections for pregnant and nursing workers. My Administration continues to call on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, commonsense legislation that would increase pay transparency and give workers more tools to fight sex-based pay discrimination.
Workers on the factory floor, on the soccer field, and in workplaces across the country deserve to be paid fairly for their work. But more is needed to ensure all people have a fair shot in this country. Advancing the economic security of women and their families also strengthens our economy overall, and my Administration remains committed to eliminating pay discrimination and unfair pay practices.
About the Act
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is an American law that aims to ensure fair pay for women in the workplace. The act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on January 29th, 2009 and is named after a woman who fought for more than 10 years to receive equal pay for the same job as her male colleagues.
Under this act, it’s illegal for employers to discriminate against workers based on gender when it comes to wages or salary. It also allows victims of wage discrimination to seek justice no matter how long ago the discrimination occurred, since each paycheck can be seen as a violation of this act.
This means that employees have 180 days from when they received their last payment—no matter how far back—to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Sources: THX News, EEOC & The White House.