Equal pay activist Ledbetter speaks at USM Forum

Equal pay activist Ledbetter speaks at USM Forum

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The person who inspired a federal law which helps women fight discrimination in the workplace spoke at the University of Southern Mississippi Tuesday night.

Lilly Ledbetter addressed students and faculty at a Spring Forum at Bennett Auditorium.

She was the inspiration for the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women to fight pay disparities.

It was the first act signed into law by President Obama.

"I want these students to understand tonight that they need to be sure that when they accept employment, that they're getting exactly what they should, not less, because they can never make it up," said Ledbetter. "There are a lot of companies today that are making sure that their places of employment offer benefits and equality, but we still have a long way to go,"

In 1998, Ledbetter sued her former employer, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, for sex discrimination and won in district court, but the court of appeals reversed the decision and the Supreme Court also ruled against her.