I blogged a few days ago about the recent Nandos ad, the blatant sexism of which means that I won’t be eating their food. I’ve previously blogged on why Dolce and Gabbana and other businesses that use images of sexist and degrading attitudes to women in order to advertise their product won’t be getting my dollars either.
Now a court case just decided in the US Supreme Court means that I won’t be buying GoodYear products either, as they discriminated against a female manager for years regarding pay relative to men of equal or lesser seniority performing the same work in the same position, as ruled by the EEOC.
That’s infuriating enough. The really outrageous aspect is that “strict-constructivist” Associate Justice Samuel Alito cast the deciding vote in dismissing her unarguable case of gender discrimination on a pure technicality: that she hadn’t filed a complaint against the initial pay discrimination event within 180 days. This is at the very least a tendentious reading of the statute:
As Ginsburg points out, this reading of the statute makes little sense; unlike a single discrete act such as a firing, an employee may not be aware of the discriminatory nature of their pay until much later, and moreover it is illogical to hold that only an initial decision to discriminate but not the discriminatory pay itself constitutes an unlawful practice. The effect of the case is to insulate employers from wage discrimination claims as long as they can hid the evidence from the employee being discriminated against for 180 days, a result contrary to the purpose of the statute that is in no way compelled by its language.
Scott Lemieux finds the outlook bleak:
this is a major way the Alito-fied Court will work to advance bad outcomes. Republicans don’t have to modify or repeal civil rights legislation, and the Court’s needn’t strike it down; the courts and/or the executive branch can just gut the legislation by making it difficult to enforce in ways that don’t attract public attention.
There’s more at Lawyers, Guns and Money, and as usual the comments are well worth reading as well.
There were a lot of people who used to claim that Alito was a moderate because his jurisprudence was principled and rigorously applied. This is just one example of how rigorously applying one’s principles does not lead to a moderate outcome, but an inarguabley reactionary conservative outcome. He’s a young man who’s going to influence to Court for decades to come, and he is not (and never was) a moderate.