Equal Pay Day 2008

EQUAL PAY DAY (4/18) 2008

From www.examiner.com, 10/16/08:
Obama, McCain, Nader and Barr on Ledbetter v. Goodyear
by Renata Lana, 10/12/08 10:08AM

Questions about women’s civil rights, especially protection from discrimination in the workplace and the right to equal pay, reappeared in the recent case of Ledbetter v. Goodyear (2007) and in proposed legislation stemming from that decision. 

Let’s review some of these issues and see where the candidates stand. 

Ledbetter v. Goodyear (2007)
Lilly Ledbetter, a manager at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Gadsden, Alabama, sued her employer for discrimination.  By the end of her 19 year career with the company Ledbetter was being paid $3,727 per month.  In contrast, the lowest paid male area manager received $4,286 per month while the highest paid received $5,236.  However, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5/4 decision that despite years of lower pay, Lilly Ledbetter was not eligible for relief because she had not filed the complaint within 180 days of the first occasion of receiving lower pay than her male peers—that is, the first paycheck with lower pay.  In her dissenting opinion,
Judge Ginsburg disagreed with the majority position that “Each and every pay decision she did not immediately challenge wiped the slate clean.”

Obama is a senate cosponsor of s. 1843, the Fair Pay Restoration Act of 2007, which was designed to address the ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, making it possible for women to file within a broader period of time.  Lilly Ledbetter has endorsed Senator Obama.

Did not support the Fair Pay Restoration Act of 2007.  McCain has objected to the legislation, saying that it involved “government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system” and that women are better served by increased access to education and training.  He is also concerned that the legislation would eliminate the statute of limitations and violate the rights of the sued. 

Ralph Nader:
Supports the agenda of the National Organization of Women, including “equality in jobs, pay, credit, insurance, pensions, fringe benefits, and Social Security through legislation, negotiation, labor organizing, education, and litigation” as well as an Equal Rights Amendment.

Bob Barr:
Does not support the house or senate versions of the Fair Pay Act.   Believes that “the free market has proved to be a powerful force of liberation for women” and that government should stay out of employment decisions.

Something to think about:Women in Top Ranks Pull Up the Pay of Others
Study Says Existing Salary Gap Fades When Female Managers Are in Charge

By Shankar Vedantam
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 13, 2006; A08

MONTREAL — American women earn substantially more money and narrow
the long-standing gender gap in income if other women in their
workplaces reach the ranks of senior management, according to a new
national study presented here.

By contrast, the study found, increasing the number of women managers
in junior positions makes no difference to the gender gap — women on
average continue to earn about 20 percent less than men.

Surprisingly, men who work for women managers seem to do slightly
worse in income than men who work for men, irrespective of whether the
women managers are in senior positions.

The study answers for the first time what happens to workers when
women break through the glass ceiling, and is based on 1.3 million
American workers in nearly 30,000 jobs and 79 metropolitan areas.

“The glass ceiling is about all women, not just women who become
managers,” said Philip N. Cohen, a sociologist at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill who announced the study here Friday at
the 101st meeting of the American Sociological Association. “If women
break through the glass ceiling, it helps other women.”

The study comes at a time when there has been renewed discussion of
gender roles in America. From talk of a 2008 presidential race between
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice to the movie “The Devil Wears Prada,” there are often
unstated political, cultural and economic implications attached to the
idea of women acquiring power.

Cohen said the study of gender and income disparities is more
complicated than it looks. For example, while it is true that
employees who work for women seem to be penalized, compared with those
who work for men, that is largely because women tend to become
managers in professions that have a lot of women to begin with — and
those professions usually pay less than professions with a lot of men.

Men work in jobs that are 70 percent male on average; women work in
jobs that are 70 percent female on average. Jobs with similar
educational requirements can pay very differently: Truck drivers earn
far more than nurse’s aides, for example, and corporate lawyers earn
more than family lawyers, Cohen said.

“Nothing stops you from paying a nurse’s aide less than a truck
driver,” Cohen said. “That is not against any law.”

Even within the same industry, or within a single company, women tend
to be distributed unequally in high- and low-profile divisions, said
Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, a sociologist at the City University of New
York and the president of the sociology association. One reason men
are more likely to reach upper management, Fuchs added, is that the
express elevators to the top — high-profile jobs — tend to be filled
with men, whereas the elevators that stop at more floors along the way
tend to be filled with women.

There is a stereotype in the United States that women who become
bosses are ruthless and that they treat female subordinates worse than
they treat men. Advocates for diversity, by contrast, have long argued
that opening the management door to women is not only the right thing
to do but will lead to more equitable workplaces in general. Cohen’s
study is the first empirical evidence that these advocates are right
— but only when women get to very senior positions.

Cohen and University of California at Irvine sociologist Matt L.
Huffman found that women earn about 81 percent of what men make, and
that figure remains unchanged when the number of junior-level women
managers rises from 2 percent to more than 50 percent. But when women
become senior managers, female workers earn 91 percent of men’s

The sociologists used data from the 2000 census that asked Americans
about their professional lives, including the industry they work in
and their incomes. The sociologists then compared the information
against what was known about the ratio of male and female managers in
particular industries, and how senior the female managers were in each
of those local industries. They accounted for dozens of other
variables, including race, geographic location, size of workers’
families, education and experience.

For example, the sociologists found 1,887 restaurant managers in the
Los Angeles area and 10,422 restaurant workers. There were far more
female restaurant managers in Los Angeles than in New York, but the
Los Angeles female managers were more likely to be low-level.
Consistent with the study’s findings, women restaurant workers in New
York earned 95 percent of the pay of their male counterparts, while
workers in Los Angeles earned 92 percent of what men made.

Cohen and Huffman said there are multiple possible explanations of why
men seem to earn less money with female managers than with men. One
possibility is that the gender gap in income is not just because women
are underpaid, but because men are overpaid, and the slight decline in
men’s wages is bringing their salaries into line with actual
productivity. But it is also possible that to get gender equity, the
extra money for women has to come from somewhere, and it partly comes
from higher-paid men.

The income study was part of an array of gender issues discussed at
the sociologists’ meeting. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
who spoke at the meeting Friday, noted that she is now the only woman
on the high court and called for redressing enduring disparities in
the judiciary. Since Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement, Ginsburg said,
“I have been all alone in my corner on the bench.”


***From PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics: (This looks like a great company)***

Women are paid less for doing the same work as men in every country on earth.5 In the U.S., women earn only $.74 on the dollar paid to men, African American women earn $.63 and Hispanic women $.56.6 Only 3% of senior managers at Fortune 1000 corporations are NOT white males.7 (The novelty of twenty-something, snow-boarding CEOs gave the “dot com gold rush” a reputation for having shaken up the make-up of corporate power, but the gender-power breakdown remained the same): in Silicon Valley, the ratio of female to male stock option ownership is 1 to 100.8 After the career years, women are only half as likely as men to receive a pension, which will be half the amount awarded to men.9 This could explain why 75% of 85-year-old Social Security recipients are female and why women are almost twice as likely as men to spend their later years in poverty.10

“Unmarried Women and Income Disparity” http://www.wvwv.org/assets/2008/4/18/memo.income.pdf

From www.washingtoncitypaper.com, 4/22/08:

In 2006, an unmarried man earned 64 cents to a married man’s dollar. 

A Great Video about the Equal PayAct 1963:





Changing Minds for Women Equality(TM) - Getting the Word Out on Women Equality Issues(TM) *An Information Internet Portal & Social Media Community*

One Response to Equal Pay Day 2008

  1. Spencer says:

    Well done! I learned some interesting things for me).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: