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Reply #116: Here's the email I wrote to Ms. Angie Drobnic Holan [View All]

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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-30-09 01:59 AM
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116. Here's the email I wrote to Ms. Angie Drobnic Holan
at holan@politifact.com

Dear Angie Drobnic Holan,

In reference to your entry on Politifact, referencing "broken Promise", please note the following post dated 1/25/09. http://www.whitehouse.gov/now-comes-lilly-ledbetter / which I posted in full below.

As a woman, I am quite shocked that you had not heard of this particular piece of legislation which was originally named, "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007".

President Obama stated why he wanted to post laws prior to him signing such for public comment.....as you linked to his reasoning in your own blog entry...."To reduce bills rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them, Obama "will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days."

In fact, it is quite ironic that as a women you were not familiar enough with this OVERDUE legislation which took the slow road to congress, and was not rushed in the least. In addition, please understand that the purpose of this bill was to reverse a judgment, not make a new law, and indeed, it was an emergency for all women in this country!

To call this a broken promise based on a technicality of no consequences demonstrates to me that I will be discounting politifact website as often as possible, and using this as my example as to why it is not to be taken seriously. If there is no reasonability to accompany accountability, then the tracking by this website of Obama's promises has been made a practical joke up before it ever really got started.

Women's story of pay inequity and discrimination is no joke, but the entry that you had the temerity to post was.

Respectfully,
XXXXXXXXXX

(Whitehouse.gov text of post dated 1/25/09)
For incoming White House staff, the past few days have been a singularly thrilling -- and learning -- experience. Wide-eyed staffers roam the halls of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with thick stacks of HR paperwork in hand, new phone numbers are being memorized -- and the line for coffee and club sandwiches is starting to grow as word spreads about the White House Mess. It's safe to say that working at the White House isn't something anyone can prepare for, but the career staff continue to work tirelessly to make the first few days as smooth as possible.

The new media team is coming online as well and our first priority is digging into this new website: improving some of the basic press office functions (like the timely posting of press releases, executive orders, etc.), developing content from other parts of the Administration to share with you and mapping out a plan for technology development. Thanks to heroic supporting roles by the Office of Administration's web and IT team (career government employees who span administrations), we were able to launch the new website. Now we begin the task of moving it forward.

Congress isn't waiting for the dust to settle though -- and neither is the President. Next week the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is due to be passed by Congress and sent to the President. The language within the Senate's version (S.181 ) is likely to be the version that arrives on the President's desk for signature, and includes this summary:

A bill to amend title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and to modify the operation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, to clarify that a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice that is unlawful under such Acts occurs each time compensation is paid pursuant to the discriminatory compensation decision or other practice, and for other purposes.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act will restore the law to where it was before the Supreme Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Justice Ginsberg's dissent summarizes the facts of Ledbetter's complaint:

Lilly Ledbetter was a supervisor at Goodyear Tire and Rubbers plant in Gadsden, Alabama, from 1979 until her retirement in 1998. For most of those years, she worked as an area manager, a position largely occupied by men. Initially, Ledbetters salary was in line with the salaries of men performing substantially similar work. Over time, however, her pay slipped in comparison to the pay of male area managers with equal or less seniority. By the end of 1997, Ledbetter was the only woman working as an area manager and the pay discrepancy between Ledbetter and her 15 male counterparts was stark: Ledbetter was paid $3,727 per month; the lowest paid male area manager received $4,286 per month, the highest paid, $5,236.

The Court ruled that employees subject to pay discrimination like Lilly Ledbetter must file a claim within 180 days of the employer's original decision to pay them less -- even if the employee continued to receive reduced paychecks and even if the employee did not discover the discriminatory reduction in pay until much later (check out Justice Alito's arguments in the Court's opinion). Restoring these rules means that complaints can be filed 180 days after any discriminatory paycheck.

President Obama has long championed this bill and Lilly Ledbetter's cause, and by signing it into law, he will ensure that women like Ms. Ledbetter and other victims of pay discrimination can effectively challenge unequal pay.

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