For those of you who don't know about this, Lily Ledbetter was a supervisor at a Goodyear plant in Alabama for many years. She found out that she had been paid less than her male colleagues who worked in the same position. She sued and took her case to the Supreme Court, who ruled that she had no right to compensation because her case wasn't filed within six months of the first instance of discrimination.
It was a horrible decision by a male-dominated court that apparently doesn't understand that the vast majority of pay scales are not public, and so uncovering pay discrimination can take decades. Maybe the court did understand this, and instead thought that Lily Ledbetter deserved to be paid less than her male colleagues.
Congress rightfully decided to rectify this and attempted last year to pass the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would remove the statute of limitations on filing a suit to compensate for lost wages. The Republicans blocked it, fearful of "frivolous lawsuits."
The new Congress, with their sizeable Democratic majority, took it up again today. I called Rep. Cao's DC office this morning and asked how he would be voting on it. I was told that he was meeting with his legislative staff about that very issue at the moment. I told the guy on the phone that I hoped Rep. Cao would vote to allow the women in his district the opportunity to be paid equally and sue for that right in court, because a civil right that you can't take to court is no right at all. It was to no avail, because in a big "Fuck You" to the women of the 2nd district of Louisiana, Cao voted with the Republican caucus against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act today.
Happily, it passed anyway, thanks to the sizeable Democratic majority.