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Supreme Court rules in favor of pay discrimination

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Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled against a Goodyear employee who earned considerably less than her male counterparts. Their justification? She waited too long to sue. Wait a minute. Suing your employer is a big step, and a scary one. It's not something that most people would jump at. It takes time to evaluate the risks, seek the backing of legal experts, get your courage up, and - perhaps most important - build a solid case. But, according to the Supremes, you have just 180 days to do all that and to save up your pennies in case the company wins and you can't stay at your job. According to an article by the Associated Press, "The 5-4 decision underscored a provision in a federal civil rights law that sets a 180-day deadline for employees to claim they are being paid less because of their race, sex, religion or national origin." OK, so given that law, perhaps the Court felt stuck between a rock and a hard place. In fact, according to the AP article, "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing in dissent for the court's liberal members, urged Congress to amend the law to correct the court's 'parsimonious reading' of it." I'll second that. Then perhaps those white men on the Court (and Clarence Thomas) will have no choice but to rule in favor of the unfairly treated worker rather than the big fat corporation. -----
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Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)
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