Grace and grit : my fight for equal pay and fairness at Goodyear and beyond
Summary: In 1998, after the author had spent 19 grueling years working at a Goodyear plant, an anonymous note showed her that she made 40 per cent less than her male counterparts. So began her decade-long legal battle for equal pay, a story she tells movingly and frankly. After a hardscrabble childhood in a small Alabama community, she knew a job at the nearby Goodyear plant meant lifelong financial stability. In 1979 as a manager there, she found men reluctant to take orders from a woman, and faced blatant sexual harassment (a performance review ended with a solicitation). She tried to take it in stride, but the stress took a mental and physical toll. Goodyear continually transferred her between departments, citing poor performance, but failed to produce evidence when she requested it. After discovering the anonymous note, she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, leading to her landmark discrimination lawsuit under Title VII and the Equal Pay Act. While she lost the case on appeal (a decision upheld by the Supreme Court), the experience prompted her to become a spokesperson for equal pay. In January 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, a satisfying coda to this inspiring tale.
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