Ryan: Lilly Ledbetter Law is About Lawsuits, Not Equal Pay

Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 04:14 PM

By Stephen Feller

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Although Mitt Romney has not said whether he would have supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, he has said that he would make no move to repeal it - despite disagreement with its stated purpose of existence.

Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan said this morning on CBS that he opposed the creation of the law because it has more to do with lawsuits than with making sure women receive equal wages for equal work.

"Lilly Ledbetter was not an equal pay law. It was about opening up the lawsuits and statute of limitations," Ryan said. "It wasn't an equal pay law, and of course, we support equal pay.”

Urgent Poll: Obama or Romney? Who Won the Second Debate?

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act extends the statute of limitations time frame within which a lawsuit can be brought against an employer for discriminatory actions, seemingly preventing a company from removing the employee responsible for the discrimination and escaping from any penalty for the action. Democrats contend the law will help to prevent discrimination, while Republicans have said it is simply a means to allow for increased litigation.

The Huffington Post reported that Romney advisor Ed Gillespie said Wednesday that Romney opposed the fair pay legislation. Gillespie had to retract that statement a day later when it became clear than the presidential candidate had not taken a position on the law in 2009 when it was up for debate in Congress.

“I wasn't there three years ago," Romney said in an interview this April. "I'm not going to go back and look at all the prior laws and say had I been there which ones would I have supported and signed, but I certainly support equal pay for women and -- and have no intention of changing that law, don't think there's a reason to."

Urgent Poll: Obama or Romney? Who Won the Second Debate?

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