You know, I am so sick of this. I blogged a while ago in my old Myspace blog about Lilly Ledbetter, a woman who sued her employer, Goodyear Tire, for paying her less than her male coworkers doing the same work. The Supreme Court ruled last year that because Ledbetter did not file a complaint within 180 days of her first paycheck she couldn’t sue. Because, you know, we generally find out we’re getting discriminated against within 3 months of it happening.
This is, of course, complicated by many companies barring employees from even discussing their pay (they can get fired for doing so). Personally, I think this is partially in place to allow discrimination to continue without accountability. Call it conspiratorial, but I’m just saying–women expect less and it’s in companies’ financial interests to not let us realize what’s up.
Well, today, Senate Republicans blocked the attempt to fix the legislation the Supreme Court interpreted in such an idiotic fashion.
Of the bill, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said:
We think that this bill is primarily designed to create a massive amount of new litigation in our country.
Honestly? I would hope it does. The point of legislation like this is to call the companies on their behavior. It’s us saying: you can’t get away with this anymore. Don’t want lawsuits? Don’t pay your female workers 6k less than their lowest paid male peer with the same responsibilities (that was Ledbetter’s situation).
And she summed up the lasting implications of it too: a lifetime of pay inequity results in lower Social Security payouts, lower pensions, lower 401k amounts…it’s a constant, lingering inequality. And it’s just wrong.
I’d like to note that John McCain–you know, the “maverick” that foolish Clinton and Obama supporters sometimes say they’ll vote for if their candidate doesn’t get the Democratic nomination–voted with the Republicans to block the bill. McCain has a long history of anti-woman voting, so this is not at all surprising, but I thought I’d call attention to it because the “If X doesn’t win, I’m going to vote for McCain” line is bugging the hell out of me.
To be fair, I thought I’d give respect to the Republicans who voted to advance this bill. They are: Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Susan Collins of Maine, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and John Sununu of New Hampshire.