Editor’s note: Lilly Ledbetter is the co-author of “Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond” (Crown Archetype). She has campaigned and raised funds for President Barack Obama.
(CNN) — It took more than 20 years to get an answer for the injustices I suffered as an unfairly paid worker, so I know what it’s like to wait. But the six seconds of silence from Mitt Romney’s campaign recently seemed like forever.
Romney’s advisers held a conference call inviting reporters to ask questions. One was simple and straightforward: “Does Gov. Romney support the Lilly Ledbetter Act?”
In other words, when a woman is paid less than a man for doing the same work, does the presumptive Republican nominee support her right to fight for the equal pay she’s guaranteed under the law? That’s exactly what the bill that bears my name ensures — it simply gives workers a fair shot to make their case in court.
It’s not a hypothetical question. Women get paid just 77 cents for every dollar a man gets. That means a woman would have had to work from January 1, 2011, until this Tuesday to match what men earned in 2011 alone.