Lilly Ledbetter talks to Shapiro about women’s pay

By Neal McNamara | April 15, 2014
Barack Obama, Lilly Ledbetter

KTTH host Ben Shapiro on Monday spoke to the Lilly Ledbetter of Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Ledbetter was the plaintiff in a nearly decade-long lawsuit against her employer, Goodyear, over unfair pay.

Ledbetter sought compensation for what she claimed was a major pay discrepancy between her and male coworkers who performed the same job. In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled against Ledbetter, because she did not file her lawsuit in time.

LISTEN: BEN SHAPIRO’S FULL INTERVIEW WITH LILLY LEDBETTER

The Lilly Ledbetter Act, the first law President Barack Obama signed into law, changed the time period for filing a lawsuit over discriminatory pay.

Obama last Tuesday sought to enact new laws to strengthen equal pay laws for women with Ledbetter standing by his side.

But Shapiro challenged Ledbetter on her position that, across the board, women are paid less than men are. He provided evidence with a study from Time magazine showing that woman are actually paid 8 percent more than men in most large American cities.

“Do you believe right now there’s a massive pay differential between males and females in the workforce given all the confounding factors including women taking time off for children, women having different jobs – do you really believe there’s a massive pay gap between men and women that’s still pervasive?” Shapiro asked.

“I don’t believe it – I know it. I know it for a fact. I traveled the world now, all over, talking about equal pay for equal work, and I’m especially popular on college campuses because I encourage young women to go out and negotiate their starting pay, to make sure they get what they’re entitled to. Everywhere I go, I hear story after story – it’s so rampant,” Ledbetter said.

When Shapiro asked which statistics Ledbetter was basing her beliefs on, she had no concrete answer, but did posit that African American women “who are coming out of college with doctorates are starting their average pay at 82 cents per what the males start out with.”

Then, Shapiro challenged Ledbetter on the fact that studies have shown that in President Barack Obama’s White House – and in the offices of many Congressional Democrats – women are paid much less than men.

“Do you think President Obama is discriminating against women in the White House considering he’s paying them 12 percent less than men in the White House?” Shapiro asked.

“No, because they’re different job levels. A job carries certain areas of responsibility,” Ledbetter said. “I just know that the White House has different classifications, they have secretaries, they have different people at different levels, and that goes on everywhere. But when you have the same job, then you should be paid accordingly. And therefore, I don’t believe that that justifies that each person is paid exactly what the other one is, because there are different levels of qualifications or education or whatever, but they need to be similar. They need to be close; they don’t need to be 40 percent apart.”

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