Lilly Ledbetter spoke on Thursday at the Equal Rights Advocates luncheon. Ledbetter became an activist in 1998 after retiring as a manager for Goodyear. At that time, she made far less than the lowest-paid male manager.
In 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Law giving workers more time to sue over wage discrimination. Now, she wants Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness bill.
"If I work for an employer that says if I discuss my pay with my coworkers, I will not have a job. And Paycheck Fairness would allow people to discuss their pay with co-workers, without retaliation," said Ledbetter.
She hopes that kind of openness breaks down wage disparity. Fifty years after the Equal Pay Act was signed into law, women only earn 77 cents for every $1 men earn.