Last week, as many of you already know, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that if you’re a woman who has gotten paid less than men of equal or less experience, you have to sue your employer almost right away from the time the pay discrimination started to happen or you’re out of luck as far as the courts are concerned.
Nevermind that it’s unlikely that any employee would know within a few months whether they are being paid on par with their peers or not. It doesn’t matter, said the majority, if it takes years to find out that the discrimination occurred. It just wouldn’t be fair to employers, as the law is now written, to hold them accountable years down the road.
(Pardon me while I take a second to rant in private. Then I’ll go on!)
Fortunately, the lone female voice of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in a wonderfully powerful dissent, pointed out for the world that:
“In the [dissent's] view, the Court does not comprehend, or it is indifferent to, the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay discrimination.”
Fortunately, Democrats in Congress are going to try to do something about that majority opinion by introducing legislation that would expand the 180-day limit that the Supreme Court held exists for an employee to sue an employer for discriminatory pay decisions based on gender, race, religion or national origin.
As Senator Edward Kennedy said at a news conference to support legislation to change this ruling:
“With women earning only 77 cents for ever dollar earned by men, the nation needs strong laws against pay discrimination.”
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