The first piece of legislation President Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for workers to fight pay discrimination. The Washington Post’s Richard Levy explains:
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act will give workers alleging pay discrimination more time to take their cases to court. It effectively reverses a U.S. Supreme Court decision that limited Ledbetter’s ability to sue after she discovered that Goodyear had been paying higher salaries to her male counterparts for nearly 20 years.
Ledbetter won’t benefit financially from the new law, but she told the New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolbert, “With the president’s signature today I have an even richer reward.”
In other news:
New York Times: Like many other workers exposed to harmful substances on the job, Ed Abney of Berea, Kentucky faces an uphill struggle in getting compensation for an illness he’s sure is occupationally related.
Washington Post: Carrying heavy gear during long combat tours has increased rates of orthopedic injuries among troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Commanders are requesting lighter body armor.
U.S. Government Accountability Office: The GAO recommends that the Department of Veterans Affairs improve management and quality assurance of its program to help servicemembers with traumatic brain injuries.
U.S. House of Representatives: Congressman Joe Baca has introduced legislation to authorize the creation of a National Commission on State Workers’ Compensation Laws to “determine if these laws provide an adequate, prompt, and equitable system of compensation and medical care” for occupational injuries and deaths. (via Workers’ Compensation)
The Daily Star (Bangladesh): Two NGOs released a survey reporting that 7,000 of the workers in the dangerous shipbreaking industry are under the age of 18.