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Namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to Speak at Duquesne

Lilly Ledbetter will recount her decade-long court battle for equal pay with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. at a luncheon hosted by the Duquesne University School of Law at noon on Monday, April 16, in the Power Center Ballroom.

Ledbetter, a production supervisor at a Goodyear tire plant in Alabama, filed the lawsuit in 1998 under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after discovering that her pay was less than that of her male counterparts with equal or less seniority. While the lawsuit, which reached the United States Supreme Court, did not go in Ledbetter's favor, it did result in the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Enacted by Congress, it was signed into law by President Barack Obama and amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Ledbetter will discuss issues including the harassment she endured at Goodyear and how her formal complaints were ignored; the Supreme Court's ruling against her; how her case came to then-Sen. Barack Obama's attention; and what the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act means in practice.

"We are thrilled that Lilly Ledbetter will be speaking at Duquesne. She has earned a permanent place in American history as a trailblazer when it comes to gender equality in the workplace," said Law Dean Ken Gormley. "This area is central to the mission of the law school."

In addition to the law school, the event is co-sponsored by the Women in the Law Division of the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Institute for Gender Equality. Proceeds benefit the Public Service Law Fellowship Program in Duquesne's law school.

"Lily Ledbetter's name has become synonymous with the quest for equal rights in employment opportunities," added Gormley. "It is a great honor for the Law School to host this special event."

Ledbetter will also do a book signing at 1:15 p.m. for Grace and Grit, which she co-authored with Lanier Scott Isom.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.