WASHINGTON — The House is expected to pass a bill this week aimed at making it easier for victims of pay discrimination to file lawsuits against employers, paving the way for President Obama to sign the first bill of his presidency.
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would reverse a Supreme Court decision and allow employees to sue as long as they filed a lawsuit within 180 days of any paycheck deemed discriminatory. The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 in a case involving Ledbetter, a former Goodyear Tire & Co. employee, that alleged victims of wage discrimination must file a complaint within 180 days of their first paycheck or lose the right to sue. As a result, Ledbetter lost $300,000 awarded to her by a lower court for pay discrimination over more than 20 years at Goodyear.
“This bill is a victory for American workers,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “Today, Republicans and Democrats united around ensuring that hardworking individuals across this country should be paid fairly and that they will have a fair shot to fight back when they are not.”
The symbolism of a wage-discrimination bill marking the first of Obama’s tenure in the White House was not lost on labor groups that see it as a critical element of their agenda and a possible prelude to a much larger battle in Congress over legislation that would make it easier for workers to organize a union.
“We are in a new era now, where the concerns of working people are at the front and center of the administration,” said Mark Levinson, chief economist at UNITE HERE, the main apparel and textile union that also represents hotel and restaurant employees. “It doesn’t mean we will get everything we want or win all of our battles, but the politics have changed in a major way, and this is an example.”
The business community, concerned the act would open the floodgates to legal action against employers, lobbied vigorously against it.
Rob Green, vice president of government and political affairs at the National Retail Federation, said the bill is much more overarching than the Supreme Court decision in the Ledbetter case.
“The way the legislation is structured there is a likelihood that it could be years or decades before discrimination cases are filed [by one employee], and there is a great deal more exposure for employers of all types when you have the potential for open-ended opportunities for lawsuits regardless of their merit,” Green said.
The House passed the bill earlier this month but combined it with a second wage-discrimination bill before sending it to the Senate. The Senate narrowed the scope of the bill it passed on Thursday night to just the Ledbetter language, and now the House must pass it again.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia