Lilly Ledbetter

  • Aired:  10/31/12
  •  | Views: 33,026

Lilly Ledbetter discusses her book, "Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond." (6:31)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

MY GUEST TONIGHT BECAME THE FACE OF EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN.

TONIGHTLY PAY HER JUST AS MUCH ATTENTION AS I PAY MY MALE GUESTS.

PLEASE WELCOME LILLY LEDBETTER.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) MS. LEDBETTER, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING ON.

WHAT A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU ON HERE.

>> THANK YOU, IT'S MY PLEASURE TO BE HERE.

>> Stephen: WHERE ARE YOU FROM ORIGINALLY?

>> ALABAMA.

>> Stephen: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN NEW YORK THIS WEEK?

>> SINCE SUNDAY.

>> Stephen: OKAY, PERFECT TIME TO VISIT THE CITY.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> Stephen: WONDERFUL.

DID WE BRING YOU HERE?

>> YOU DID, I'VE BEEN IN THREE HOTEL THIS IS WEEK.

>> Stephen: HOW MANY?

>> THREE.

>> Stephen: WHY DID YOU MOVE?

>> WELL, THE FIRST ONE GOT EVICTED AND -- EVACUATED BECAUSE OF THE CRANE --

>> OH, THE DANGLING -- THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES OVER MIDTOWN.

OKAY.

YOU'RE WELCOME.

>> Stephen: AND THE SECOND ONE NO HOT WATER OR HEAT.

>> OKAY.

AND WE GOT YOU INTO A THIRD AND NOW YOU'RE LIVING IN A --

>> A THIRD ONE.

>> Stephen: RIGHT ON THE EAST RIVER, SOMETHING LIKE THAT?

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: PLEASE COME BACK TO NEW YORK AGAIN WHEN FACILITIES ARE IN THE 20th CENTURY.

>> OKAY, I'LL DO THAT.

>> Stephen: NOW YOU ARE FAMOUS BECAUSE YOU WERE AN OVERNIGHT SUPERVISOR AT THE ALABAMA GOODYEAR TIRE AND RUBBER COMPANY

FOR HOW LONG?

>> 19 YEARS AND TEN MONTHS.

>> Stephen: NEAR THE END OF YOUR TENURE THERE YOU FOUND OUT SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR PAY, WHAT DID YOU FIND OUT?

>> I WAS MAKING 40% LESS THAN THE THREE WHITE MALES DOING THE EXACT SAME JOB THAT I WAS.

AND THAT WAS A DEVASTATING HIT FOR ME BECAUSE THAT MEANT THAT MY OVERTIME PAY WAS INCORRECT.

WHAT I HAD LEGALLY EARNED UNDER THE LAW.

AND IT ALSO MEANT THAT MY RETIREMENT WOULD NOT BE CORRECT.

>> Stephen: OKAY, SO YOU SOUGHT RELIEF FROM THIS PROBLEM BY GOING TO THE COURTS.

YOU WERE AWARDED $3 MILLION IN DAMAGES FROM GOODYEAR FROM A LOWER COURT BUT IT WENT ALL THE WAY TO THE SUPREME COURT AND

WHAT DID THE SUPREME COURT SAY TO YOU?

>> THEY SAID I DO NOT FILE MY CHARGE SOON ENOUGH.

JUST ALITO WROTE THE OPINION AND HE SAID I SHOULD HAVE FILED MY CHARGE WHEN I GOT THE FIRST DISCRIMINATORY PAYCHECK EVEN

THOUGH I DIDN'T KNOW IT.

EVEN THOUGH I COULDN'T PROVE IT.

BUT HE SAYS THAT I MISSED MY MARK.

BUT THAT WAS NOT CORRECT.

>> Stephen: WELL, IT'S THE SUPREME COURT, MADAM.

>> I UNDERSTAND.

>> Stephen: HOW DID IT FEEL?

THEY TOOK AWAY YOUR $3 MILLION.

HOW DID IT FEEL TO HAVE ANOTHER GROUP OF MEN TAKE AWAY YOUR MONEY?

(LAUGHTER)

>> PRETTY DEVASTATING.

VERY SADDENED.

>> Stephen: THEIR LOGIC WAS THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BEFORE YOU KNEW?

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: WHAT ABOUT WOMEN'S INTUITION?

(LAUGHTER) WHY NOT THAT THAT?

ARE THEY TAKING THAT INTO ACCOUNT?

YOU GUYS HAVE THAT MAGIC POWER.

>> I KNOW, BUT IT DOESN'T COVER UNEQUAL PAY.

>> Stephen: REALLY.

>> NO.

>> Stephen: YOU REALLY OUGHT TO.

>> I KNOW, WE NEED TO DO THAT.

>> Stephen: YOU'VE GOT A NEW BOOK HERE CALLED "GRACE AND GRIT MY FIGHT FOR EQUAL PAY AND FAIRNESS AT GOODYEAR AND BEYOND

DO I HAVE TO PAY FULL PRICE FOR THE BOOK?

>> ABSOLUTELY, I NEED THE MONEY.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> I UNDERSTAND PAYING WOMEN -- PAYING THE SAME AMOUNT YOU PAY MEN.

I PAY MY FEMALE INTERNS THE SAME AMOUNT AS I PAY MY MALE INTERNS.

NOTHING.

(LAUGHTER)

>> I HEARD THAT.

>> Stephen: ONE COLLEGE CREDIT IN HARD KNOCKS.

(LAUGHTER) BUT THIS BECAME AN OPPRESSIVE FEDERAL LAW.

THE VERY FIRST DAY IN OFFICE, THE FIRST THING BARACK OBAMA DID, THE FIRST PIECE OF LEGISLATION HE SIGNED WAS THE

LILLY LEDBETTER ACT.

NOW YOUR NAME IS IMMORTAL AND ASSOCIATED WITH WOMEN'S ABILITY TO WRITE WHAT YOU SEE AS AN INJUSTICE.

WHAT DOES THE LAW DO NOW?

>> IT ALLOWS THE PERSON, THE SAME AS I DID WHEN THEY FIND OUT THAT THEY HAVE BEEN DISCRIMINATED AGAINST AND

THEY'RE STILL GETTING A CHECK THEY HAVE 180 DAYS IN ANY STATE IN THIS COUNTRY TO FILE A CHARGE WITH AN T EQUAL EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION.

>> Stephen: HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE FAMOUS FOR RIGHTING WHAT YOU SEE AS AN INJUSTICE?

>> IT'S QUITE AN AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY BECAUSE, AS I TOLD THE PRESIDENT WHEN HE SIGNED THAT BILL AND IT'S NAMED

FOR ME I FEEL THAT I NEED TO GET OUT INTO THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD, IN FACT, AND SHARE MY STORY BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENED TO

ME I DON'T WANT TO HAPPEN TO ANY OTHER AMERICAN FAMILY.

BECAUSE THIS GOES ON FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

IT'S NOT JUST MY PAY, MY OVERTIME PAY THAT MY CHILDREN AND FAMILY HAD TO DO WITHOUT BUT STEPHEN, THIS GOES ON INTO MY

RETIREMENT NOW AND I BECAME A WIDOW IN 2008 AND NOW WHEN MY RETIREMENT CHECKS GO IN THE BANK I GET 40% LESS THAN I SHOULD.

AND IT'S EXTREMELY HARD TO MAKE ENDS MEET.

AND I'M JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG.

THE UNITED STATES IS FULL OF WOMEN IN THE SAME SITUATION AND SO MANY OF THEM HAVE TO MOVE INTO HOME WITH THEIR CHILDREN.

>> Stephen: THIS HAS BECOME A VERY POPULAR LAW WITH WOMEN-- FOR WHATEVER REASON.

(LAUGHTER) AND THEY'RE A COVETED DEMOCRAT GRAPHIC OF VOTERS IN THIS ELECTION.

MITT ROMNEY IS NOT AGAINST THIS LAW, RIGHT?

HE SAID -- HE SAID HE'S NEITHER FOR IT NOR AGAINST IT SO WE CAN ASSUME HE'S FOR IT, RIGHT?

>> HE'S NOT SAID ANYTHING.

HIS STAFFER TOLD THE REPORTER "WE'LL GET BACK TO YOU" AND SO FAR THEY HAVE NOT GOT BACK TO US.

>> Stephen: WELL, MAYBE HE'S JUST TRYING TO KEEP A GREAT SURPRISE.

(LAUGHTER) LIKE WHEN HE GETS INTO OFFICE HE'LL SIGN A LAW GIVING YOU TWICE THE PAY.

>> I DON'T THINK SO.

>> Stephen: WHAT IF WOMEN JUST HOLD OUT AND JUST SEE WHAT'S BEHIND DOOR NUMBER MITT.

(LAUGHTER)

>> I WOULDN'T ADVISE THAT.

>> Stephen: ARE YOU PRESENTLY WORKING?

>> NO.

>> Stephen: WILL NO ONE HIRE YOU BECAUSE YOU'RE AFRAID YOU'LL SUE THEM?

>> YOU GOT IT.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> Stephen: LILLY LEDBETTER.

THE BOOK IS "

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