The California State Senate has passed a law to shield workers in the state from a US Supreme Court decision that severely limits employees' ability to sue for equal pay. In May, the Court ruled 5-4 in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire Co. that wage discrimination complaints could only be filed within 180 days of the initial discriminatory salary decision. The California fix specifies that the time period for filing a complaint restarts with each discriminatory paycheck.
"The Courtís decision ignores the reality of the workplace where salaries are often hidden ... [It] encourages employers to hide information and will likely lead to more unlawful discrimination," said California Assemblymember Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), the bill's sponsor. "This legislation will ensure that the Supreme Courtís flawed decision does not apply to state laws that affect a worker's right to equal pay."
The bill makes California the first state to introduce its own version of the federal Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bipartisan bill to clarify federal discrimination law in the wake of Ledbetter. The Act passed the House in July and awaits approval in the Senate, where it is titled The Fair Pay Restoration Act.
The California bill must still pass the State Assembly and be signed by the governor. It has the support of women's rights, civil rights, and labor groups but faces opposition from the state Chamber of Commerce.
Media Resources: Assemblymember Dave Jones Press Release 9/7/07; Washington Post 8/14/07; Feminist Daily Wire 7/25/07
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .