economy

Paycheck Fairness

Equal pay has been the law for 51 years. This one is supposed to allow people to ask how much other people get paid. And sue if the employee found she were making less than another employee. If I were working now and anyone asked how much I made, I’d tell them, “It’s none of your d@mn business.” There are so very many reasons why Employee A might be being paid less than Employee B when they’re doing the same job on paper.

What makes it different is different people, with different skills, different interests, different ambitions… And that applies to anyone regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, what-have-you. Even two people doing the exact same job on paper will do it differently and may garner different compensation. Employee A and Employee B have been on the job for the same amount of time. They have the same experience. They started at the same rate. But Employee A does the very minimum required. Employee A clocks in and out exactly on time every day. Employee A never volunteers for special projects. Employee A grumbles whenever asked to do something that isn’t in the job description. Employee B shows initiative. Employee B asks for training in other aspects of the job. Employee B volunteers for special projects and doesn’t mind covering for another employee out sick or on vacation. Employee will stay a few minutes late to get the job done instead of leaving it until the morning. Employee A doesn’t deserve a pay cut, but there should be no issue with giving Employee B a raise. Or giving an annual increase at the bottom of the range to Employee A, and giving an increase at the top of the range to Employee B.

The above is the same regardless of race, sex, religion, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, or whatever “protected” status one might fall into. What I hate is when people are “protected” and then behave like Employee A above, because they can. Then, if there’s any adverse action to the employee, the employee can sue and say it’s due to his or her protected status. All the costs to defend are on the Employer. Even if the adverse action (no raise/promotion, less of a raise, whatever) had no connection to the status, but to the actions (or non-actions) of the employee.

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Working Without a Contract

We saw a car today with a sign in the rear window that said, “District 109 Working Without a Contract.”

I take it that District 109 and the teachers’ union haven’t negotiated a new contract.

Of course, even if a new contract hasn’t been negotiated, the old one stays in effect until the new one is negotiated.

The teachers are still getting the same amount of money. They still get the same amount of vacation and personal days. They still get their benefits at the rate they were paying prior to the expiration of the previous contract. All the other aspects of their contracts with the district  remain as they have been.

Some could take that sign to mean that they are working without pay.

Most of us in the real world work without a contract. We are “at will” employees. That means that we can quit our jobs at any time and for any reason. We are free to leave our place of employment. Of course, that means our employer can fire us as well. Employers however are constrained by law as to reasons they can fire an employee, employees are not likewise constrained.

Personally I wouldn’t want to work under a group contract such as those the unions negotiate. I would like the opportunity to prove my worth to a company and have the company compensate me more as a result. If I do a better job, I should be able to be rewarded for it. If someone else is doing a worse job and layoffs come along, I shouldn’t have to worry that I might have to go first if I came in last. My employer should also have the freedom to choose to compensate me more for my added value or to fire me for not doing so well.

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Letter to the Editor of the Week

This letter* to the editor in today’s WSJ really struck a chord.

Regarding your editorial “The Debt-Limit Hobbits” (July 30): I join with my other southwest Ohio tea-party leaders in opposing the Boehner plan because we’ll get less than 3% “real” spending cuts in a government that has bloated 40% in four years, and this is not enough. Authorizing $1 trillion in new debt today for the promise of cuts which may or may not work out to be more than that over 10 years is an unfavorable deal.

Kudos to the Club for Growth, Heritage Action, Jim Jordan, Jim DeMint, Michele Bachmann and others for standing on principle and opposing this plan.

As for Middle Earth, to quote Gandalf, standing before the hordes of Mordor at the Black Gate, “Surety you crave! Sauron gives none. If you sue for his clemency you must first do his bidding. These are his terms. Take them or leave them” . . . But as for your terms, we reject them utterly. . . . Begone!”

Ted Stevenot
Co-founder
Clermont County Tea Party
Cincinnati

_*The link goes to today’s letters only so I’m reproducing the entire letter here.

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