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Lilly Ledbetter Rallies With NYC School Safety Agents Demanding Fair Pay

Lilly Ledbetter (in green) with school safety agents on steps of City Hall demanding fair pay, May 9, 2014. (credit: Jim Smith/WCBS 880)

Lilly Ledbetter (in green) with school safety agents on steps of City Hall demanding fair pay, May 9, 2014. (credit: Jim Smith/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – School safety agents, New York City’s public advocate and others rallied Friday outside City Hall demanding fair pay for school safety agents.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, Lilly Ledbetter calls herself the poster child for unequal pay. She sued after learning she was being paid less than her male counterparts. Her case against Goodyear went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ledbetter lost, but in 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law.

“It’s a sad day when you have to live a life being short-changed,” Ledbetter said at Friday’s rally. “I’ve lived that they’re walking now. I’ve lived that, I know what it’s like.”

About 5,000 school safety agents, mostly women, say they’re paid $7,000 a year less than other similar workers.

“We don’t want to have to stand up like this. You don’t want to file a lawsuit. You just want what you’re earning and entitled to.” said Ledbetter. “That’s all they’re asking for. Nothing more, just equality. That’s all and that’s a lot.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said on the campaign trail and as late as this week that the city will settle a federal lawsuit alleging pay discrimination against the school safety agents.

But some women on the job said they won’t believe it until the ink is dry.

“I feel like he broke his promise,” one school safety agent said.

“It would be nice if he’d keep his word and he sticks to his word and he passes the lawsuit,” another agent at the rally said.

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