American National Government

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Since days in memorial, there has been a fight from the women where they want rights are equal to those of men at their workplaces. During the period of the civil wars men were supposed to go find a job and provide for their women while the women were supposed to stay at home and guide the children as they grow while carrying out the house chores. During the post-civil war period, things have changed greatly, women have become more empowered and they are engaging in the same jobs and even sometimes performing better. In the world today, women are motivated inwardly where they have the same qualifications, exposure and experience as the men but the only problem that is there us the issue of not having a fair pay when comparing men to the women in our society example Lilly Ledbetter in 1990 sued their employer Goodyear Tire company for having a salary which was less compared to her supervisor who was a man. Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act was introduced because of her vigorous struggle it will be discussed in the essay below. (Canales, B. (2018).

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The historical and constitutional background

The civil rights acts were implemented in 1964 by president Johnson which was after many years of resistance and opportunities out of discrimination and having opportunities that were not equal which was based on the gender of a person and their age. The civil rights core mandate was to make sure that everyone had an opportunity that was equal and they were able to access similar resources without discrimination. According to the research that was done, the act was able to partly achieve this although not everyone who benefitted as it was purported this is because the opportunities that were given to the women were limited when compared to what should have happen. To further explain this, the jobs that were given to the women at the time included being secretaries, teachers and librarians and all the other fields were left for the men.

In the late 1970 we had Lilly Ledbetter who was a woman and she used to work at the Good year tile company, where was a good worker and a hardworking one that is why she received an award which was the ‘top performers award.’ She was said to be more hardworking when compared to the men and they could not achieve what she did. The only issue was that she indicated that when was being harassed and also her evaluation did not match that of men besides being almost two decades after the civil rights act of 1964 was implemented in America. (Sullivan, C. A. (2010).

According to Lilly Ledbetter back in 1998 she indicated having evaluations that were low when compared to her male colleagues and this was due to her female gender. Also he never received a salary increment as it was done to the men and when her retiring period came she had earned a lower pay when compared to the men that she used to work with. She sued to company and was paid for her damages and back pay.

The civil acts were amended especially title 4 where it was declared to be illegal it the employees were discriminated due to their color, race, ethnicity, background and religion. It is important to note that this did not reduce the chances of women being discriminated. Lilly Ledbetter sued the Goodyear Company that in turn made an appeal against her. At first she lost since the court indicated that she has filed the case late. In 2009 the president at the time Barack Obama signed the law Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act which explained when there are chances of unfair evaluation.

Checks and balances

Remember that we have three arms of the government which include legislature, executive and judiciary. If the checks and balances are properly put in place, then we will have no arm of government which seems to be stronger than the other one. These arms should cooperate and work together although sometimes hiccups will be experience there is a need to solve the problems that may arise.

In the year 1964 when the policy of civil rights was implemented one used to have just a period of one hundred and eighty days to file a claim in court of sue their prospective employers in there was an act of discrimination but due to the vigorous changes that have been implemented today, one has over three hundred days to file claims in case there is an act of discrimination which they face at any time because of the fair pay act which has been interpreted by the judiciary and congress(legislative) arms of government. When the Supreme Court declared that Lilly Ledbetter was supposed to be paid by the Goodyear tire company, it led to laws expansion. There has been battles which have been experienced from the courts and legislature when it comes to law interpretations since they have different believes of what they think is right and what is wrong according to them.

When Lilly Ledbetter filed her claims at the EEOC she did not claim anything else apart from her payments. The courts declared that when discriminations where done or they took place then this was supposed to be filed at the EEOC in three hundred days but the congress fought this since it did not aggress with the court. To have rules and comprehensive policies which are against discrimination, the three arms of the government have to cooperate so that there can be less fighting situations experienced.

Public policy, elections and media

The voting process in America is to make sure that the people express themselves fully. Also for smooth power transition from one leader to the other one, then there are elections that take place, hence all that the citizens have to do is to cast their votes and go home while awaiting for their favorite candidate to win thus there is no need to be violent. When people take place in an election process, they are able to cosign with the social contract of the American constitution. Remember that president Barrack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act in 2009 and that was among the factors that encouraged people to vote for him more so the women since they believed that he care for their rights and do not want them discriminated. (Wade, M., & Florentine, S. (2017).

The media is very important to our lives today, this is because to keeps we updated with the current trends especially the presidential debates, among other news of the people who will be seeking different positions in our land for the coming elections. The media has changed with how candidates interact with their people. Example in the year of 2012 Obama was competing with Romney and Obama kept on informing the people how he had implemented the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act on the presidential debate.

Obamas aid that he had signed this act (Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act) so that he could ensure women had the same rights of men but on the side of Romney, he indicated that Obama did not want to help women by signing the law and that of he was given a chance, then he could do better for the women and give them a chance in his government to be. (Douglas, N. (2018).

When it comes to the side of the public policy, then it has major goals which are the first one security where with the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act has ensures economic security for the employees. The second one is liberty where the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act has given everyone economic liberty to be not discriminated due to their gender, the third one is equity where everyone has the right to earn the same amount of salary for a job done despite their gender.

Voting and election process

The voters and the elections process especially the women have been affected by this Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act. The 2012 elections are the ones which I am going to look at this is because it was the one that preceding the act signing and the presidential debate between president Obama and Romney was forced on this act and how they were going to deliver America with no discrimination of the women. Even the adverts between the two opponents focused on delivering the rights of women. (Sedhom, R. V. (2009).

These adverts were used to make sure that they votes of the women were received. In the side of Barack Obama, people believed he was more concerned for women this was because he was able to give women more rights previously and he was going to deliver if given another chance. He also indicated that he had signed the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act and he was going to sign more acts to that to promote equity of all the genders.

In September 2012, the presidential advert of Romney was seen as being negative. He said that Barack Obama did not care about if women were discriminated or not. He had made the situations harder since he said that the unemployment rates were still high and increasing and women being discriminated more which was to be blamed on Obama regime. (Hammond, E. (2013).

The two candidates wanted to ensure that they won the candidate elections. They portrayed that women deserved equal rights to the men at the work place. They wanted the people to believe that they could deliver better and ensure that women had less discrimination.


The Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act has affected the modern lives of people and how they are motivated at their current job environment. This is where women are given the same rights as men when they carry out a particular piece of task. Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act has been among the many battles which women has fought for a long time till today, although the battle has been won, there is still more that has to be done, it there is a common agreement which is established between our courts and congress to ensure law interpretation is effective. This fight is far from over and there is still more that has to be done to ensure discrimination does not occur at all.


Canales, B. (2018). Closing The Federal Gender Pay Gap Through Wage Transparency. Houston Law Review, 55(4), 969-997.

Sullivan, C. A. (2010). Raising the Dead?: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Tulane Law Review, 84(3), 499–563.

Sedhom, R. V. (2009). Reacting to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: What Every Employer Needs to Do Now. Employee Relations Law Journal35(3), 3-8.

Hammond, E. (2013). Lilly Ledbetter Teaches Us a Lesson: 2012 DNC Speech Gives Way to Public Moral Argument. Florida Communication Journal41(2).

Wade, M., & Florentine, S. (2017). Gender Pay Inequality: An Examination of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Six Years Later. Advancing Women in Leadership, 37.

Douglas, N. (2018). The Other 50%: Employed Women & the Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces Order.

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