Equal Opportunity Shouldn’t End at “You’re Hired”

By Courtney Shaffer
USW Intern

Walmart, one of the world’s largest employers, is again facing the prospect of a class action lawsuit alleging the company discriminates in its promotion and pay practices, favoring men over women workers.

The complaint, filed on Nov. 6, mirrors one filed in 2001. In the earlier case,  1.6 million women gained class certification in 2004. But in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed that class action designation, claiming the case was too big. Since then, more than 2,000 women have filed new claims regarding workplace discrimination.

Walmart is supposed to be an equal opportunity employer. That means it would be illegal for Walmart to violate the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)’s anti-discrimination guidelines, not just in the hiring process, but in all aspects of paying and promoting workers.

The women who are plaintiffs in the current case claim Walmart continues to fail in this basic measure of employment equality.  They say that the criteria managers use to promote workers does not always include industry experience or job performance, often leaving qualified, experienced women out of the running for better jobs.

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Here’s how a Trump judicial nominee really feels about laws protecting women against discrimination

Ian Millhiser

Ian Millhiser Senior Constitutional Policy Analyst, Think Progress

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday on Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett’s nomination to a federal appeals court. Two decades earlier, however, Willett questioned the need for laws protecting women against discrimination in a memo to his boss, then-Gov. George W. Bush (R-TX).

The memo mocked the policy positions of the Texas Federation of Business and Professional Women, which Bush planned to praise in an official proclamation. “Issue-wise,” Willett wrote regarding the Texas women’s group, “they support the ERA, affirmative action, abortion rights, legislation adding teeth to the Equal Pay Act, etc. and they regularly line up with the AFL-CIO and similar groups.”

The future judicial nominee also urged Bush to strip language from the proclamation supporting women’s right to receive equal pay for equal work, as well as their right to be free from sexual harassment in the workplace. “I resist the proclamation’s talk of ‘glass ceilings,’ pay equity (an allegation that some studies debunk), the need to place kids in the care of rented strangers, sexual discrimination/harassment, and the need generally for better ‘working conditions’ for women (read: more government).”

Willett concluded his brief memo with a rhetorical flourish. “The proclamation can perhaps be re-worded to omit these ideological hot buttons while still respecting the contributions of talented women professionals. But I strongly resist anything that shows we believe the hype.”

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Telemundo Chooses Union Voice with SAG-AFTRA

Fighting Tax Cuts for the Rich

From the AFL-CIO

The AFL-CIO and our allies are fighting for tax and budget policies that meet the needs of working people.

Real tax reform will close the loopholes that give massive tax breaks to companies that outsource jobs and profits, and require millionaires and Wall Street to pay their fair share.

Responsible lawmakers will use tax revenue to create good jobs for working people now and in the future, while still funding critically important programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

The $1.5 trillion tax cut hailed by House Republican leaders isn’t reform. It’s just another giveaway to the rich and powerful, while working people pay the tab.

Tell Congress to reject the GOP tax "reform" bill!

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Trumka: Trump Should Support Workers' Right to Bargain