Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cursing on the Job, Part 2

Another scenario that may cause a person to curse on the job - now rectified.

Today, President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which amends 1964 Civil Rights Act and extends the statute of limitations to file a claim against pay discrimination another 180 days for every alleged discriminatory pay. Previously, the time to file a claim was limited to only the first 180 days after the initial discriminatory pay.

To me, this is a no-brainer. In the case of Lilly Ledbetter, a previous Supreme Court decision said that she missed the 180-day window to file her claim because she found out that she was being paid less than her male counterparts after working 19 years for Goodyear. So basically, as long as an employer can hide from an employee for 180 days the fact that her pay for doing the same work is lower than her male colleagues, then they're scot-free.

Critics of the law argue that this will only bring more lawsuits against employers and enrich lawyers. This is likely to be true, but this particular argument is a falacy because it can be said of any employment law and many other laws. The point is, if an employer doesn't want to get sued, then don't violate the law. An honest employer should give equal pay for equal work, and I think this applies to more than just gender, but also race, age, as well as citizenship status. And if the employer discriminates, it should be justly punished, with no loophole in the form of a statute of limitations.

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