Friday, May 02, 2008

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Sometimes I think I live in the land of dinosaurs! Neither of my senators voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Oh sure, there are misinformed people who believe that by allowing someone to sue for back pay after 180 days, there would be a catastrophic ten percent decrease in everyone's pay, but quite honestly, this does not follow. (If you believe that one, I've got some waterfront property to sell you -- it has a view of the water from all directions! Very lovely!) What it would do instead is make employers that much more careful about systematically discriminating against anyone.

Anyhow, here's what I wrote to my senators:

Dear Senator:

I was disappointed to see that you voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act recently. I cannot understand why you would vote against a bill that would remedy unfairness in pay.

Senator, I am a woman and the breadwinner of my family. It is a well-known fact that due to bias (both conscious and subconscious), women do not get the recognition that they deserve for their hard work, and this includes promotion and raises. I am a scientist, and there have been peer-reviewed, double-blind studies that have shown that a woman scientist has to be more than twice as productive as a man scientist in order to be considered equally competent. If a man must publish ten papers a year, then a woman must publish twenty in order to be considered his peer.

Therefore a woman who works as hard as her male counterpart will not receive the same reward, and fall behind in pay. It takes time to ascertain the pattern of iniquity, and this bill seeks to allow women and others subject to this type of discriminatory practice the time necessary to do so.

Senator, I encourage you to change your vote the next time this bill comes up. My family deserves your support in making sure that I am remunerated as much as I deserve.


[me], Ph.D.
Computational Scientist


pete said...

breadwinner? I think 'bringing home the bacon' is tastier

Hopefully Anonymous said...

You're continuing a track record of writing a really good, frequently updated blog. Kudos!

Anonymous said...

mmm yes dinosaurs. Why is there not unanimous support for the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act? Ugh.