Senator Boxer:  President to Sign Equal Pay Legislation   

Thursday, January 29, 2009  

Dear Friend:

I am very pleased to tell you that the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 recently passed Congress, and today it became the very first bill to be signed into law by President Obama.  This landmark legislation will ensure equal pay for equal work regardless of age, race, gender, religion or national origin. 

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act amends Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making it possible for an employee to file a wage discrimination suit based on the date of the actual discriminatory payment or the initial setting of the discriminatory wage at the time of hiring, so that the statute of limitations runs from the date of the actual payment of a discriminatory wage, not just from the time of hiring. This means employees can seek a legal remedy based on each discriminatory paycheck, not just during the first 180 days of pay discrimination.  It is named for Lilly Ledbetter, who sought court action on her own case of wage discrimination, only to be told by the courts that she should have brought suit at the time of her hiring, despite the fact that she did not know of the wage discrimination. 

Many of us were frustrated when this legislation was consistently blocked in the last session of Congress.  The quick passage of this law in the new 111th Congress is a good sign that we will be able to better address some fundamental issues facing our nation.  If you would like to read my statement or see my photo with Lilly Ledbetter celebrating this victory, please go to


Barbara Boxer, US Senator, California
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer