According to her website, Mrs. Ledbetter was anonymously informed via a note in 1998 that she was making thousands of dollars less a year than her male counterparts in the same management position. Though she filed and won a sex discrimination case against Goodyear, she lost on appeal and lost again eight years later on the US Supreme Court level. Not to be deterred, Mrs. Ledbetter adopted Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s advice (per her dissent on the Supreme Court decision) and continued to press forward in her quest of obtaining fair pay for those who had been discriminated against due to their gender. This perseverance ultimately led to President Obama’s signing of the Fair Pay Act.

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If you suspect that you are receiving unfair pay, due to sex-based discrimination, you should try to resolve the issue with your supervisor and human resources first. If you are unsuccessful, be certain to educate yourself on your rights, keep accurate evidence (i.e. – witnesses, documentation, conversations) and seek legal consultation.

For more information on the Fair Pay Act and your rights, please visit The Department of Labor.

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Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates ( She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row, KinderJam, LLC and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.

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