Equal Rights Advocates honored Leslie Levy for her work at its annual luncheon this summer, where the keynote speaker was equal pay crusader Lilly Ledbetter. ERA is a national organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls.
ERA explained why it chose the Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams LLP partner –
ERA honors Leslie Levy for her many contributions to the gender justice movement and the work of ERA. Most recently, Leslie served as ERA’s co-counsel in a case representing an immigrant woman restaurant worker who was sexually assaulted and denied overtime pay, despite repeated complaints. Her compassion and expertise in this case was typical of her accomplished career promoting social justice.
Accepting the honor, Leslie described her long connection to ERA and its mission –
Since I was a law student working at ERA 32 years ago, I have had an affinity for ERA and its mission. While the word “feminism” has fallen out of favor with some, ERA has consistently refused to allow women’s issues to be diluted or marginalized, and has stood strong in support of women’s equality in employment and education . . . I look forward to continuing to stand with ERA in speaking feminist truths to power.
At the event, Lilly Ledbetter addressed the continuing struggle for pay equity for women, even following the landmark equal pay law that bears her name. As part of the movement for equal pay, ERA has launched Close the Gap, a social media campaign highlighting how women earn cents on the dollar compared to men. As big supporters of this cause and ERA, Leslie and the rest of her firm added their pictures to the campaign. Leslie, who has represented women firefighters in discrimination cases, featured the pay difference for women firefighters, who earn only 78 cents to every dollar earned by a man doing the same dangerous and demanding work.