I still remember this woman….I remember her first name…more importantly, I remember how little I thought of (and still regard) my former ‘boss’ after his request. I have no earthly idea if he is still living…I left his employ in the mid-1980’s…it was my first experience with corrupt management on many levels…and I’ve been extremely unfortunate to have experienced it a number of times since then….the way I’m getting around it now is by operating my own business….
I would gladly bet any amount of money that if someone is corrupt, they will not contact me to do any consulting for them and I will never, ever work for anyone else again that steals employees’ money from trust funds (on an almost weekly basis)....engages in wage theft (on a regular basis)....falsifies RFP’s for major Health Insurers or Grant Proposals for major Religious Denominations..... physically abuses employees....uses Economic Development monies to renovate their parents’ home....celebrates birthdays, vacations and family parties with trust fund monies from all sources, including but not limited to nearly every taxing authority in the PA/NJ/MD/DE area....distributes Anarchist Literature while accepting monies from Funders....promotes pharmaceuticals for uses other than approved by the FDA....discriminates against a group of minority students and tries to cover up their discrimination by lying about the students....lies to employees regularly and asks employees to lie for them....tells employees that the reason they ‘use’ trust fund monies is because it is a good way to ‘finance’ one’s business...have a supervisor/officer of the company that tells her subordinate ‘my mission in life is to make sure anything that comes out of my mouth is believed’….be they a Nurse, PhD, Physician, Lawyer or Minister….I’ve learned to rely on KARMA and trust that KARMA will ‘sort out the poop’!!!
My diatribe was a Segway into the two (2) legal decisions made regarding ‘women’ this week…
Peggy Young vs. UPS and what the Supreme Court decision means for ‘pregnant’ workers and Ellen Pao, losing her gender bias case against the Venture Capital firm, Kleiner Perkins. Please understand….I don’t believe that just because a woman sues, she is correct…hell, no….I worked for a woman that, in my humble opinion, was and probably still is, an evil witch…she ‘owned’ the business and she was, again, in my humble opinion, as corrupt as they come…her excuse was that she left the decision to other people…but as she NOW knows….intent is irrelevant….if you do something wrong, blame it on someone else and/or act as if you have no idea what was/is going on….women make just as many mistakes in the business world as men….
Let’s sum up the case….Peggy Young, the plaintiff, worked for UPS as a pickup and delivery driver. When she became pregnant in 2006, her doctor restricted her from lifting more than 20 pounds during her first 20 weeks of pregnancy and 10 pounds for the remainder. UPS informed Young that she couldn’t work because the company required drivers in her position to be able to lift parcels weighting up to 70 pounds. As a result, Young was placed on leave without pay and subsequently lost her employee medical coverage.
The main thrust of Young’s case was that the Pregnancy Discrimination Act also requires that employers treat pregnant women ‘the same for all employment-related purposes…as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.’ This is the clause that the Supreme Court interpreted.
UPS stated that they did not discriminate against Young due to the fact that they have a ‘pregnancy blind’ policy….they only provide accommodations for the following: drivers injured on the job; drives who lost their DOT certifications and drivers who suffered from a disability under the ADA….Young’s lawsuit was brought against UPS under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1987. The Court eventually articulated the high legal burden employers will have to meet in order to justify their policies or practices that provide accommodations to some categories of employees, but not to pregnant women. The Court then remanded the case to the lower court to determine whether UPS can meet this burden.
This case is sort of moot going forward….in 2008, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1987 was amended to include a case such as this…however, it was not in place in 2006. There is some talk of making a law that would cover all pregnant women and insure that requirements are clear for all employers and employees. Many states already have laws in place that accommodate pregnant women….even though ‘pregnancy’ is considered a state of ‘health’…there are many situations where pregnant women may need to be accommodated….also, many businesses already provide accommodations to pregnant women because they understand it is in their best interest….and the best interest of their employees, to do so. Accommodations required by pregnant women are normally temporary and typically inexpensive. The best course of action is to provide them….
Now, Ellen Pao’s situation is a little bit of a different story than Peggy Young’s story. Ellen was making a six figure salary (possibly seven figure….no one is really counting) and she was already a partner for the firm. However, she was passed over for ‘senior partner’ so she brought a gender discrimination suit against her employers while still employed by them.…then they fired her. Now, they say (and the jury agreed with Kleiner Perkins) that they didn’t fire her because she is a woman; they say that she was fired for her performance. Hmmmmmmmmmm I don’t buy it but nonetheless, the jury did….and according to our sometimes warped judicial system, that is all that matters. Ellen Pao lost on all four claims she made against her former employers; she was asking for reparations in the amount of $16,000,000….Ellen is not just a female; she is an Asian minority. Doesn’t matter….a few interesting facts about the case….both sides had female attorneys….and when Ms. Pao’s performance reviews were shown in court, it was duly noted that 71% of the females at Kleiner Perkins had performance reviews that focused on personality issues while only 23% of the males had personality issues brought up in their performance evals….so, it may be that old adage….a man is being authoritative; a woman is just being a bitch…..
Ms. Pao also had some personal/professional issues brought up in court…her failed ‘affair’ with a married co-worker, for one. We shouldn’t really condemn her but it is amazing what is permitted for either party to bring up in court that may/may not have anything to do with the issue being debated…
So, a victory in many senses for Ms. Young….she is not finished yet, however, I think it is a bit of a ‘no brainer’….and Ms. Pao states that she made her point and the general consensus on the internet is that Kleiner Perkins should change its attitude and practices over all or this situation will have more of a negative impact than if they had ‘lost’….
If you are interested in insuring that there is no gender discrimination in your organization…either from an employer or employee perspective, please contact Rosanne Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 484-798-1236. I will gladly help you go forward in the correct direction!!!