Unfair Pay and the Discrimination Loophole
A Supreme Court ruling from last week made it more difficult for people to sue their employers when they found that they were being discriminated against and paid neither fairly or equally. I missed this, but I think that was the point.
First, here’s what happened (from the article, with my emphasis added):
The court held on Tuesday that employees may not bring suit under the principal federal anti-discrimination law unless they have filed a formal complaint with a federal agency within 180 days after their pay was set. The timeline applies, according to the decision, even if the effects of the initial discriminatory act were not immediately apparent to the worker and even if they continue to the present day.
Allow me to translate. If something shady is going down at your job, all the shady folks have to do is make sure you don’t notice it for 6 months, then they are pretty much free to do whatever the hell they want and not get sued.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the few Justices left with any decency, is noted in the article saying the following:
In a vigorous dissenting opinion that she read from the bench, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the majority opinion “overlooks common characteristics of pay discrimination.” She said that given the secrecy in most workplaces about salaries, many employees would have no idea within 180 days that they had received a lower raise than others.
An initial disparity, even if known to the employee, might be small, Justice Ginsburg said, leading an employee, particularly a woman or a member of a minority group “trying to succeed in a nontraditional environment” to avoid “making waves.” Justice Ginsburg noted that even a small differential “will expand exponentially over an employee’s working life if raises are set as a percentage of prior pay.”
She is dead-on to call this ruling out for what it is: an underhanded political play by conservative business leaders [and the “Justices” that represent them] to provide a discrimination loophole. This is dangerous to both women and minorities.
This is yet another example of why the Supreme Court, and who gets appointed to the Supreme Court, matters. We have to be careful to make sure that all three branches of government have the interests of all people in mind when voting or making decisions. Too may of these loopholes left open will lead to an opening big enough fit a California-king-size bed through. That kind of sounds like Jim Crow to me…
It always amazes me how “small stuff” like this gets snuck past us as an unsuspecting public. Thankfully, we can prevent this in the future by coming up with better ways to share information amongst each other.
One Love. One II.