Jan 29, 2009



WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is signing into law an equal-pay bill that is popular with labor and women's groups and is expected to make it easier for workers to sue for decades-old discrimination.

Obama was to sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on Thursday during an East Room ceremony, a move that effectively ends a 2007 Supreme Court decision that said workers had only 180 days to file a pay-discrimination lawsuit. Obama and fellow Democrats campaigned hard against the court decision and promised to pass legislation that would give workers more time to sue their employers for past discrimination.

"This bill will be a big step forward not just for women, but for families," the White House said in a statement announcing the bill signing. "It is not only a measure of fairness, but can be the difference for families struggling to make ends meet during these difficult times."

The law is named for a woman who said she didn't become aware of a pay discrepancy until she neared the end of her 19-year career at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant in Gadsden, Ala. She sued, but the Supreme Court in 2007 said she missed her chance.


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