Friday, January 23, 2009

Senate Passes Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Good news for Sessions Watchers who were moved by the story of Lilly Ledbetter, the Goodyear worker who faced salary-based gender discrimination, and didn't discover it until after she'd been working there for years.

Yesterday, the Senate passed S. 181 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 on a near-party-line vote, with some note-worthy Republicans crossing party lines to vote with the majority--Arlen Specter (R-PA) and all the women Republican Senators: Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and our own Kay Bailey Hutchison!

3 comments:

John Peterson said...

I'm skeptical that this act will work as intended. I have noticed a pattern that legislation titled to do one thing usually does the opposite.

For example, the Troubled Asset Relief Program didn't buy troubled assets in the banks. Instead the government blew $350-billion and 3-months later doesn't know what happened to it.

I wonder if underperforming female employees will now be brought to par on pay with their overachieving female and male peers. In this case, the overachievers will be hurt since their slice of the pie will be given to the underachievers. Time will tell.

JOhn

Sessions Watch said...

I like the ideals of this bill, especially the openness about salary, and stated goals for performance-based raises.

One reason Whole Foods such a success, for instance, is that everyone knows what everyone else makes, and the goals are clearly stated about what it takes to get performance bonuses and promotions. When workers are satisfied, they're more productive, which is great for the bottom line.

Of course, it's up to each business to comply, but this will at least give employees some back-up if they discover they've been discriminated against for no apparent reason.

Intersting, isnt' it, that ALL the women in the Senate backed this! Hope it works out.

John Peterson said...

Wow. I didn't know that about Whole Foods. That's an interesting experiment, and it sounds like a great competitive advantage. Happy workers are a great asset. Southwest is another example of happy workers making a great company for everyone. Thanks for the info.