Thursday, February 05, 2009

Midwinter Roundup

This weekend, it is rumored that Chicago will see temperatures upwards of 50 degrees. Obviously, this disgusts and sickens me, so I am fleeing north to Minnesota to attend a ball with a certain lovely lady. Hence, the usual tide-you-over roundup (I'll be back Monday evening).

Ta-Nehisi Coates links his positive perception of Jews and Blacks "who shot back" as a counterweight to the prevailing narratives of both people: namely, passive victims who got beaten up a lot.

A good breakdown of the factors in play in Israel's upcoming election.

Marcia McCormick on why Ledbetter won't accomplish much. Depressingly convincing.

The South African President has reportedly dressed down Fatima Hajaig, and the Jewish community has now indicated that it fully accepts her apology (after previously rejecting it as "veiled"). Hajaig will keep her post in government; no word on whether the complaint against her to the state's human rights commission will continue.

If there is anybody I trust for serious economics expertise, it's the trifecta of Michelle Malkin, Glenn Reynolds, and Joe the Plumber.

Juicy Campus down, far too much sludge to go.


PG said...

I'm surprised that McCormick doesn't discuss the Paycheck Fairness Act. PFA addresses at least part of the retaliation concern (amends labor law to forbid firing employees who ask about each other's or disclose their own wages), and also requires that pay differences be based on a bona fide factor other than sex.

Marcia said...

Thanks for the note, despite the depressing part. I didn't discuss the Paycheck Fairness Act because it hasn't passed yet. The House passed it, but the measure is too controversial to have sailed through the Senate. The damages provisions are probably the real sticking point, there. Additionally, the NLRA basically already does prohibit retaliation against employees who disclose pay information, although nobody realizes it. It certainly wouldn't hurt to amend the FLSA to provide the same thing. And I think Title VII already may embody the same bona fide factor and business necessity test, although it's not framed that way and not in the Equal Pay Act, which the PFA amends.

Unfortunately, most of the same obstacles to making a claim exist even under the PFA. Forbidding retaliation does not mean that employers won't retaliate. Here the enhanced penalties might help enhance the deterrent effect, preventing retaliation, though.

I don't mean to be so depressing; these are just difficult reforms to achieve through private litigation without sufficient consensus on the underlying norms.