Actions That Changed the Law

Lesson Duration

Author:  Linda Weber, Annenberg Classroom

In 1998 when Lilly Ledbetter filed her complaint of wage discrimination against the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. with the EEOC, her goal was to get equal pay for equal work because that was the law. She had no idea that her decision would eventually involve all three branches of government and result in a law with her name on it—the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.This lesson is based on a video that tells the law-changing story behind the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Students gain insight into the lawmaking process, consider how statutory decisions made by the Supreme Court can prompt better laws, and learn about the rights and responsibilities they will have when they enter the workforce.


  • complete an assignment to build civic understanding, then take and correct a self-assessment test based on the bank of civics questions used for the updated naturalization test for citizenship.
  • watch and listen to the video A Call to Act: Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., then discuss follow-up questions and complete activities in the video study guide.
  • complete a puzzle activity based on the video in which they research to identify “puzzle pieces” of information, then organize the pieces into a ow chart that shows the chronology and the process that led to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.
  • relate what they learned about Lilly Ledbetter’s experience with employment discrimination to information gath-ered from the EEOC’s website for youth in the workforce.


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