It was reported last month that a movie will be made about the Alabama factory worker who was the driving force behind President Barack Obama’s 2009 fair-pay legislation. Lilly Ledbetter has signed up with a Hollywood filmmaker to make a movie about her fight to guarantee equal pay for women. Rachel Feldman, whose credits include episodes of the TV series “Sisters,” “Picket Fences” and “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” will be the producer-director and is developing the screenplay. The movie has yet to be cast. Jon Goldfarb, the Birmingham lawyer who represented Ledbetter in her discrimination case and has continued to advise her, had this to say about the choice of Ms. Feldman:
Rachel Feldman has a passion for Lilly Ledbetter and her story. She understands how it is to be a woman and be discriminated against, and after talking to her, Lilly Ledbetter decided she would be the perfect person to push this forward and make it into a movie. People have been after this story to put it on the screen for a long time. She (Ledbetter) went with Rachel because she bonded with her.
Ms. Ledbetter worked as a supervisor at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant in Gadsden from 1979 until she retired in 1998. She later sued the company for paying her significantly less than her male contemporaries. Ms. Ledbetter won a $3.8 million verdict that was subsequently overturned by an appeals court because the court said she waited too long to file her lawsuit.
In 2007, the Ledbetter case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which, in a 5-4 decision, agreed with the appeals court that she had not met the 180-day deadline for filing her claim. But in a dissenting opinion Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg urged Congress to amend the law to correct the Court’s “parsimonious reading” of the existing law. That led to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2009. Significantly, this was the first bill signed into law by the President. The Act loosens the time restriction that the Supreme Court imposed in the Ledbetter v. Goodyear case for filing a discrimination lawsuit.
As you will recall, Ms. Ledbetter spoke about her fight for equal pay at the Democratic National Convention in 2008 and again in 2012. Last February, she released Grace and Grit, a memoir that she co-wrote with Birmingham author Lanier Scott Isom. Ms. Ledbetter has been very active in her fight for women’s rights, speaking all over the country about this issue. She has become known as the ”voice of equal pay for women.”
The movie is still early in the developmental stages. Hopefully, it will be filmed in Alabama. While it’s clearly an Alabama story, it’s one that affects women across the U.S. It was not known at press time whether the movie will be a theatrical release or a cable television movie. But one thing is certain: this is a story that will resonate with the American people. Women have been treated like second-class citizens in the workplace – when it comes to pay – for years. While progress was made for women workers in 2009, it’s now time to remedy the situation once and for all. Lilly Ledbetter, a brave lady, is an American hero!
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.