Of the 16, 13 say they were paid less than men with the same or lower qualifications, 13 say promotions were doled out to less qualified men, and six experienced sexual harassment, with many experiencing multiple challenges at least two having experienced all three.In 2005, one woman actually looked at the paperwork in the store where she was assistant manager:
At one Belden Jewelers store in Massena, New York, four different women in the suit say they were paid less than Troy Lawler, a man hired in 2005 who had no prior experience in the industry, and were told “that Lawler needed to be paid more than the females because he had a child to support.” He also received promotions even though more qualified women say they indicated their interest in advancing. Kelly Contreras, who worked for Sterling stores from 1993 to 2005 in Madison, Wisconsin, was intimately familiar with the company’s wage discrimination. She and her husband both worked as store managers and had similar industry and company experience, yet he was making $55,000 a year, while she made $35,000. When they both became district managers, he made $10,000 more.
Besides being paid less than less qualified men, Judy Reed, who has worked at Jared stores since 2000, says she has repeatedly been passed over for promotions. Despite the fact that she has more than 30 years of experience in the jewelry industry, including five as an assistant manager for Sterling, she says that she was denied at least four different promotions that well instead to less qualified men.
She found the new salesperson, a man who had no retail jewelry experience, was making $15 an hour — over $1.50 more an hour than the woman who was the store’s top seller.So in case you needed a reason other than those horrible, horrible ads not to "go to Jared," here you go. And, you know, in case you needed a reason to support the Paycheck Fairness Act, since it would make it easier for women to find out they were being discriminated against and take action against it.
She checked another file, and then another, until she had reviewed the records of each of the dozen or so sales staff members. Almost all of the men, recalled Ms. Souto-Coons, then an assistant manager, were making more per hour than the women.
Continue reading below the fold for more of the week's labor and education news.
A fair day's wage
- The other Final Four: Lawsuits that could threaten how the NCAA does business and exploits athletes.
- Fruit of the Loom is closing its Jamestown, Kentucky, plant, laying off all 600 workers, and moving production to Honduras.
A California logistics company must pay more than $2.2 million in back pay to seven short-haul truck drivers it had illegally misclassified as independent contractors, a state labor board ruled on Wednesday, continuing a streak of victories for drivers who are asserting their labor rights in the state.Still more excellent:
By labeling the drivers independent contractors rather than employees, Pacer Cartage, Inc. was able to avoid paying the workers for things like time spent waiting at the port to pick up a load and reimbursements for job expenses. Labor laws protect full-time employees from such wage theft, but independent contractors aren’t covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, minimum wage laws, and other worker protections. The California Labor Commissioner’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) ruled that the company “knew or should have known” that the drivers were employees rather than contractors and instructed Pacer to pay $2,214,496.39 in restitution, attorney’s fees, and interest.
Pacer’s parent company said it intends to appeal the ruling, according to Southern California Public Radio. But its chances of success seem low. The DLSE is working through around 500 separate complaints like this one, and as of two weeks ago it had ruled in favor of the drivers in all 30 of the cases on which it had reached a ruling.
- A union aims at Pittsburgh's biggest employer. (Spoiler: It's a hospital, not a steel mill.)
- Balloon Juice's Soonergrunt on training to be a union steward.
- California is considering new measures to protect temp workers. Badly needed, too.
- Well, this makes sense:
A janitorial company painted by “Fox and Friends” as the victim of attempted pro-union government coercion has in fact been coercing its own employees to hide safety risks from the government, employees charged to Salon.
- Newark students walk out.
- New York has the nation's most segregated schools. And, uh:
Nearly three-quarters of the charter schools in New York City are considered “apartheid schools” because less than 1% of their enrollment is white. Charters are often more racially segregated than the district in which they are located.
- Education activism in Oklahoma?
Nearly 25,000 teachers, parents and students from all corners of the state converged at the state Capitol on Monday to urge legislators to invest in Oklahoma's public education system.
"This is not about funding; it's about respect," [Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Keith] Ballard said to enthusiastic cheers. "It is highly disrespectful to be ranked 49th in the country in per-student funding."
He was the last of a slew of speakers who urged state legislators to make public schools a priority, noting that the funding for Oklahoma yearly public education funding levels are 22.8 percent below 2008 prerecession levels even as schools educate nearly 40,000 more students.
- And another schools superintendent, this one Todd Gazda of Lowell, Massachusetts, speaks out for education:
The light of creativity and student engagement are the greatest casualties of the education reform movement. Teachers recognize this and express frustration, but their concerns are disregarded or minimized. We will not achieve greatness in our educational system until we break free of the bonds that are driving us towards mediocrity. We have had over a decade of minimal growth under our current reform efforts and yet the response is that we have to increase those same types of mandates. At what point do we realize our error and open the discussion to find an alternative? Some productive middle ground where we hold educators accountable while recognizing their professionalism and work with them to develop a system that functions without being oppressive.