Sue-icidal

No, no, don’t start calling all the Sues you know and warning them that a rampaging blogger seeks to snuff out the candles of their lives. My rampage is not even a rampage. I’d say it’s more a blip, a quark, a passing anti-fancy.

I read a blog post today that referenced a court case between a woman named Ledbetter and Goodyear. Apparently this woman worked happily for Goodyear until she received an anonymous letter informing her that the other people doing her job, all men, were receiving a lot more money for their efforts than she was.

So, she subsequently sued the company for backpay, damages, and all sorts of crazy stuff. WTF?! Originally, she won the case and was awarded a hefty sum of money for her troubles. Then, the Supreme Court got a hold of her case (thanks to an appeal by Goodyear) and shot it down and now she’s appalled, saying she never would have believed this in America.

Oh. My. Goodness. You’re darn right this is America and this stuff happens. If you don’t negotiate a higher paycheck for yourself at the outset, heck yes will you make less than other people. I’m so frustrated reading about people who sue companies for this kind of foolish crap.

Doctors are leaving practices because of the ridiculous lawsuits they’re faced with all the time (What do you mean elective surgery can be dangerous?!), people are suing restaurants for making them fat (Since when do restaurants force you to stop exercising and eat too much?), and all the while we’re all sitting there watching from the sidelines like it’s a tennis match. I imagine lawyers are fine with it, though.

I’m just so frustrated that this woman feels the company owes her something because she wasn’t paid as well as the other employees. Yes, the other employees are men and yes, women in this country earn pennies to a man’s dollar, but no one stopped this woman from investigating what her job should have been paying her and then negotiating her way to top dollar.

Honestly, when people participate in stupid lawsuits like this I get pretty steamed. America is the land of opportunity, yes, but should it really be the land of this kind of opportunity?

3 thoughts on “Sue-icidal

  1. We just provide the paper assault, we don’t really instigate these cases. Except the class actions. You can totally blame lawyers for class action law suits. And yes, as long as people want to sue other people and the American public (re: juries) will award ridiculous sums of money for virtually nothing, we’ll be right there to take our cut. Sort of OUR version of negotiating the highest salary.

    It’s undeniable statistically that the gender pay disparity issue is still alive and kicking, but this is an interesting perspective on it that intrigues me as a big proponent of personal responsibility. Is it that men are simply more aggressive in negotiating their salaries? Or is it that the pay-disparity is in place, but we’ve reached a point where it could be largely corrected with a push from the individual employees suffering from it? That lower salaries are now RESIDUAL of a bygone era rather than a rule of modern business. That is to say, “door’s open. Now you have to step through it, ladies.”

    This is largely academic to me as I have joined a profession where pay is mostly lock step at this level. That and the fact that most of the girls I’ve spent the last 3 years with are now making over four times what I make.

  2. Oh, btw, tell that husband of yours that unless he wants to start a blog to fill me in on how he’s doing, he’ll have to call me back sometime. Not that I have anything interesting to tell him…

  3. And this is why you’ll never be out of a job :)

    I don’t blame lawyers at all. If people are willing to instigate lawsuits, why shouldn’t lawyers be there to take their cut? I suppose my fundamental problem is that our law system is set up in such a way as to reward this behavior. I’m actually embarassed that our Supreme Court took part in this.

    In regards to the cause of the existing pay disparity, I think it depends on the company and the person. Men do tend to be more confident in salary negotiations and more informed about what they’re worth as well.

    Then again, if you’re working for a company that’s been around long enough to remember when women weren’t allowed to work there, you have to expect some of that adjustment to still be taking place.

    I think the way you put it about the open door that women have to walk through is beautifully put. Women can moan and complain about not having equal pay, and in some cases they should, but for the most part it’s up to them to go to the companies that will pay them well and it’s up to them to ensure they make what they’re worth.

    It’s funny, in some industries the pay disparity is worse than others. Manufacturing is one of the worst and software one of the best.

    Don’t worry about those girls who are making more than you. Maybe someday you’ll be in the Supreme Court and then they’ll be telling their friends, “This guy I went to school with is a Supreme Court justice and here I am still pushing class action law suits.”

    Also, consider the message passed along to non-phone-call-returning husband :)

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