“Paycheck Fairness Act poised for passage”

by Walter Olson on September 23, 2010

Proponents are making the usual you-mean-you’re-against-equal-pay? noises, but the bill would go much farther than that in undercutting employers’ litigation defenses. Jon Hyman says business should be afraidbe very afraid. More: Christina Hoff Sommers, New York Times; Hans Bader and more; Keith Smith/ShopFloor.

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Connecticut Employment Law Blog
09.23.10 at 8:05 am
Paycheck Fairness Act, cont’d
09.28.10 at 2:58 pm

{ 8 comments }

1 Xmas 09.23.10 at 4:49 am

I wonder what would come up if someone checked this relationship:

women’s waged + cost of health care benefits used versus men’s wages + cost of health care benefits used.

Men are notorious for not using their health care benefits. While women use many types of expensive specialized care.

2 Bob Lipton 09.23.10 at 6:24 am

“I’m cutting all your wages by 30 percent, guys.”

Bob

3 wfjag 09.23.10 at 8:06 am

You have to wonder how this situation would be handled under this law?

KFC pays college women for ad space on buns
By Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY (SEP 22, 2010)

“KFC wants folks to watch its backside.

Or, more precisely, the backsides of female college students it’s recruiting to promote its hot new bunless Double Down sandwiches.

Women on college campuses are being paid $500 each to hand out coupons while wearing fitted sweatpants with “Double Down” in large letters across their rear ends.”

[Rest of the article at: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2010-09-22-kfc22_ST_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip ]

Guess I’m old. I remember when KFC chicken breasts were advertised as “Finger Lick’n Good”, but I don’t recall anyone with an “And all I got was the T-shirt”.

4 Jack Wilson 09.23.10 at 2:25 pm

If women truly did work for less, than employers would get rid of all of their men and replace them with women.

5 kimsch 09.23.10 at 2:56 pm

@JackWilson – but that’s logical! You can’t be logical with these folks. They just don’t understand logic.

6 R 09.23.10 at 3:56 pm

That’s why I voted for Hillary in the Democratic Primary: We could pay her less. What’s 77% of $400,000?

7 heather 09.23.10 at 6:40 pm

wow! the commentary is “interesting.” “women use all sorts of specialized care” …..CRAP. If you are going to put that out there, please cite something at the very least. Unless, of course, you refer to maternity issues etc. If, on the other hand you talk about the widgetizing of medicine and useless over-proceduring, then I would imagine that women are the recipients of much of this useless care because they go to doctors more and doctors dole this stuff out.

Now, Jack Wilson, your comment looks like it has some logic but it is so oversimplified as to be utterly wrong. And the subsequent post about “these folks” has an indeterminate target so I will just post “WTF?” and carry on. The societal context of this discussion is not taken into account in your accounting. While women are often at fault for not asking for raises etc., it is equally true that there starting salaries are less and raises are less and that they are constantly harassed by the “women are more prone to leave the company and are a less secure investment” spiel. So if the world were as simplistic as your statement implies, then we would all say “great logic!” If, however, the entrenched bias toward women in the workplace that exists for whatever reason in terms of monetary compensation and status is taken into consideration then the statement you made is as silly as it is. Otherwise, to misuse a singular example as a broad generalization, why would a WalMart manager defend his decision to bypass as legitimate a choice for promotion as her male counterpart (and in fact more legitimate in terms of longevity) with a statement like “he has a family to support”.

For the record, the societal context that is missing in regards to how women, children and all that hoo ha are valued is in no way an excuse to increase the already insane litigious behavior of people – regardless of gender – in the USA (and elsewhere). I have no idea if this act is worthwhile or not – probably not. What would be worthwhile, however, is for people to stop acting as if being female is a disease and being male is normal. Women who look male on paper in terms of education etc often fair equally in terms of paycheck (from the stats I review)…but that means they are single,childless, urban dwellers and not anything else. Hello, reality check.

Trying to make up for past,sexist social practices is most certainly not going to be done through this craptastically large class action lawsuit in the making. But, the “logical” commentary here is indicative of the reason why many people want something done to remedy the situation.

8 William Nuesslein 09.25.10 at 10:57 am

heather, above, states correctly from what I can tell, that “many people want something to be done about the situation.” But what exactly is the situation?

Is it that equally effective female employees receive less than their male counterpoints? Then rational employers would differentially seek out female employees as I did in the 1970′s when women got 69 cents for each dollar a man made. One of the two women my boss and I hired on that basis was a nut, and the other was intensely interested in marriage. To be fair to them, our subsequent man choice was also incompetent. At that time someone established a bank that had women executives take advantage of the discrimination in banks. The bank failed.

Is it to stereotypes like firemen? Then we observe very few firemen in spite of fortunes being spent on making fair firefighter exams. We all know the adverse reaction to professor Larry Summers when he observed that data showed women to be less interested in Science than men. Benbow, a lady, and her collaborator set up special summer classes for high achieving math students. In the first year the boys did better and the thought was that the boys intimidated the girls. In the second year, classes were separate for boys and girls. The boys did better again and it seemed to Benbow and her collaborator that Math appealed more to boys.

What disturbs me is the assumption that boys and girls have innately equal talents. The environment that selects for females (the ability to survive giving birth and suckling youngsters) differs markedly from the environment that selects for males (combat between men). There are female professors at Harvard who can not grasps basic evolution.

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