Ledbetter to speak at MSU as part of Seal Distinguished Speaker Series

Contact: James Carskadon

Lilly Ledbetter Flyer

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A renowned women’s equality activist and namesake of the historic Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act is the featured speaker for the 2018 Leo W. Seal Jr. Distinguished Speaker Series at Mississippi State University.

Lilly Ledbetter will speak to MSU students, faculty and staff during a 5 p.m. lecture on March 27 in McCool Hall’s Taylor Auditorium. Ledbetter will share her inspirational story of her fight for equal rights in the workplace. The event is sponsored by MSU’s College of Business and its student organization, the MSU Undergraduate Women in Business. Because of space limitations, a valid MSU ID is required for entry.

For more than eight years, Ledbetter fought for equal pay in a sex discrimination lawsuit against Goodyear Tire, her former employer. She had worked with the company for 19 years before she received an anonymous note revealing she was making thousands less per year than men in the same position. She initially won the case, but the ruling was overturned on appeal. Over the ensuing years, the case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007. Although the court ruled Ledbetter did not file her lawsuit within the required statute of limitations, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg encouraged Ledbetter to keep fighting for equal pay in her dissenting opinion.

Ledbetter would go on to take the fight for equal pay to the U.S. Congress, which in 2009 passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, a law that expanded the statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit. Former President Barack Obama signed the legislation in January 2009, the first major piece of legislation he signed into law. Now, Ledbetter travels the country to share her story and urge women and minorities to claim their civil rights.

The Seal Distinguished Speaker Series is among campus memorials honoring the 1949 Mississippi State business graduate and longtime head of the Hancock Banking System. A Bay St. Louis native who died in 2008 at age 84, Seal was among MSU’s major supporters.

For more on Ledbetter, see http://lillyledbetter.com/.

MSU’s College of Business, the oldest business school in Mississippi and among the oldest in the south, can be found at www.business.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.