Anti-discrimination measure blocked as woman's life expectancy goes down

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by solvs, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #1
    Republican Senators Block Pay Discrimination Measure

    McCain too.

    And in other, somewhat unrelated but I didn't want to start another thread, news:

    Life Expectancy Drops for Some U.S. Women
     
  2. Antares macrumors 68000

    Antares

    #2
    I agree that there should never be a pay disparity between two people of a different gender when doing the same job, at the same company, for the same amount of time. That is unfair and a definite case of discrimination. However, you need to respect filing deadlines within the court. It could be a case like the one this proposed bill was inspired by or a property or injury suit or whatever. If you miss the deadline, you are out of luck. A lot of filings related to employment law are extremely time limited. You need deadlines to prevent abuse. Opposing this bill makes sense to me.
     
  3. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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  4. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #4
    Unfortunately you have to file the discrimination suit within 6 months of the first instance of discrimination. Which means she only had 6 months from her first paycheck.

    How much do your co-workers make? How long have you worked there?

    I've been at my job for 7.5 years now and I have no clue what any of my co-workers ever made. If I found out tomorrow that I had been discriminated against when I was hired and paid less for some reason, I cannot file a suit since it's been much longer than 6 months.

    The time limit needs to be extended or removed since in most work situations you don't usually discuss how much you get paid with your co-workers, do we now have to wear a nametag with our current pay on it so everyone knows right off the bat?

    Edit:
    As a corollary this court ruling and bill defeat mean that once an employer has paid a person less for discriminatory reasons for 6 months they can continue paying less for the same reasons for the entire time they work there. They missed the deadline for filing so they are fair game to be discriminated against until they leave.
     
  5. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #5
    I'm curious, but does anyone know the name of the case the Supreme Court heard?
     
  6. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #6
    It's been 10+ minutes, so I take it this isn't a consecutive post? ;)

    Well after some sleuthing, I found the case:

    LEDBETTER v. GOODYEAR TIRE & RUBBER CO., INC.

    After reading the syllabus, I somewhat agree with the majority, but hopefully that will change once I read the whole thing.

    The basic logic is that you can't be held liable for one bad act far into the future simply because other neutral acts magnify the one bad act.

    I know it's a blow to equal pay, but it does make logical sense.
     
  7. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #7
    So if a company hires someone and gives them a lower pay based on their race or sex, they don't need to remedy that as long as the raises are inline with others doing the same job? What if the raises are done on a percentage basis and everyone gets the same percentage? It's a neutral act but the original discrimination costs more in actual dollars after every raise cycle, and the company has no liability as long as the worker does not file a lawsuit within the first 6 months?

    Do you know how much your co-workers make at your job? 6 months is an unbelievably short time to be expected to find that kind of information out.

    If anything the raise cycle makes it worse every time, since the company reviews all the workers and should remedy the fact that two workers doing the same job have a large pay discrepency. If anything the time limit should be 6 months from the last raise given.
     
  8. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #8
    I'm not saying I agree with its implications, but I think the justices did get the legal aspect correctly. Their job isn't to determine if the law should have a 300 day or 3,000 day window; it's to determine if the woman can sue under Title VII of the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

    I think if we look at the legal aspect, the Court made the right decision. The law itself has holes, and they should be corrected for via the legislature.

    Thus, I'm much more upset at the Republican filibuster than I am with the Court's ruling. The Court did its job; the Senate did NOT do its.
    I agree that it's not enough time, but that isn't for the Court to determine. There isn't a basis for the Court to simply say, "180 days is too little; 900 days is more appropriate."

    This is a statutory problem and the Court adhered to the statute. If the statute itself is problematic, change the statute.
     
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #9
    well there is one thing. Most people know about what the industry average is for there position. Not catching based on that number should be a dead give away.

    I know for what I do the average pay between $45-55k/year. Most people should know what the normal range is for their job.

    Not noticing a 40% off is pretty bad.
     
  10. spork183 macrumors 6502a

    spork183

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    #10
    There is common sense, and there is legal reality. Unfortunately, too frequently the two do not intersect. The open pay scales of public service jobs help in that arena, but provide very little (read: No) flexibility for the employer to recognize superior effort or output. The schmo who busts his hump for the whole shift, and the one who bricks it, make the same thing if they started at the same time and have similar education, etc.

    In this case, it seems cut and dried. Arguing the semantics of "When we were caught cheating her," seems a little disingenuous. Gotta love the law. :rolleyes:
     
  11. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #11
    I never said the court got it wrong, but this thread is as much about the GOP stopping a revised bill as it is about the court's decision.
     
  12. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #12
    No, but you did indicate the Court's ruling in your first post in this thread, almost as if to say, "The Supreme Court doesn't care either."

    I'm just saying that the Court did its job correctly.
    Yes, and I happen to disagree with the filibuster.
     
  13. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #13
    Well they could have interpreted the law differently and found that every pay raise that did not reconcile the pay disparity counts as an individual act of discrimination rather than a neutral act since while she may have been getting the same raise (dollar or percentage wise) the discrepancy should be obvious and the decision not to remedy the pay gap could be considered it's own act of discrimination.
     
  14. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #14
    Yes they could have done that and given the woman a legal remedy, but that would have also produced a very bad decision.

    The Court interpreted the law correctly. Unfortunately this does not always yield the results we would like.

    I'm reminded of The Merchant of Venice in which the judge agrees that it's perfectly appropriate to take a pound of flesh, but only if no blood is spilt.

    How the heck does one take a pound of flesh without spilling blood?

    That's a good result of the individual claimant, but a very bad result of the law as a whole. If other cases are to be decided by the same metric, then the law would go awry.
     
  15. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #15
    How is it a bad decision?

    You can argue all you want that the pay raises are neutral, but in reality they are perpetuating the discrimination and validating it on a periodic basis.

    I don't think periodic pay reviews can be considered a neutral act until they remedy the discrepancy in pay since every time they give a raise that maintains the pay difference they are re-affirming that it's OK to be paying that person less.
     
  16. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #16
    A decision which allows the statute of limitations to be repeatedly extended by neutral acts would be a bad decision.

    Statutes of limitaions exist to provide closure and let people move on. By allowing someone to sue over a single bad act that occurred 30 years ago is in direct conflict with the standard application of statutes of limitations.
    Yes, they are perpetuating the problem, just as white flight perpetuates educational inequality and old money perpetuates elitist society.

    Should the Court decide those issues as well?

    You can't look to the Court for every remedy. Some things should be decided democratically.

    I would have no problems with Congress extending the deadline beyond 180 days, in fact, I think it would be very appropriate. The fact that the Republicans blocked this measure does upset me.

    What doesn't upset me is the Court's correct ruling.
     
  17. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #17
    I guess we disagree on raises being neutral acts. I could maybe see that if the raises are done in dollar amounts and you are given the same wage increase in dollars as the other employees since over time that will lessen the impact of the original discrimination. However if it is done in percentages, they company/bosses are making the choice to perpetuate the original discrimination and keep the pay disparity at the same percentage level. I don't see that as a "neutral act."

    Reading a little more it looks like she was frequently given poor reviews and consequently lower raises than other co-workers. If there was reason to believe that the poor reviews and lower raises were due to discrimination, do those count as "neutral acts"?
     
  18. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #18
    Again, it goes back to my previous comment about white flight or old money. Future actions that are very fairly applied will still produce uneven results because of prior conditions.

    I wouldn't associate moving to a suburb as a non-neutral act, or investing in the stock market as a non-neutral act. Yet, both of these actions, depending on who you are, will perpetuate a previous unfair condition.

    Are they neutral or not then?

    Of course not. If her reviews were negative because of her gender, then she deserves to collect on that. I think the law would rightly be on her side, especially because it's an ongoing discrimination.

    Here's a thought though: what if she was just a mediocre employee?
     
  19. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #19
    But these are also individual actions, not corporate. People are free to move and invest their money and make money in various ways using their own money.

    If a business puts up a "No insert minority Allowed" sign and it stays up for longer than the time period in the law, is the act of leaving it up illegal even if it's not enforced? Leaving it up is not even an action, can a non-action be non-neutral?


    And here is our major point of disagreement. If you review the pay periodically, you are reviewing the initial discrimination as well. Every time you don't remedy the initial discrimination you are, in my mind, choosing at that point in time to discriminate again.

    If her merit based raises were lower due to her performance, that's fine, but the review and non-remedy of the initial discrimination, I believe, just validates and discriminates again and unless remedied could be considered another individual act of discrimination.
     
  20. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #20
  21. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

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    #22
    I dont understand how anyone could vote against something like this....
     

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