Monday, February 25, 2008

Moving The Mission Forward

When my 8yo daughter asks me what I do for and with AAUW, I tell her that I work to help women and girls so that they are treated fairly. I use an example she can relate to. I ask her if she does the same chores as her brother, would she think its fair if she gets paid less because she's a girl.

Well you can imagine the indignation an 8 year old girl would display at the mere suggestion. Even her 6 year old brother is outraged.

If 8 and 6 year olds get it, why do our legislators have such difficulty with the concept?

This is one of the topics AAUW members from around the state will be discussing at our convention April 25-27 in Cooperstown, NY.

Lilly Ledbetter will be our keynote speaker on Friday night. Ms. Ledbetter was launched into the national spotlight when she sued Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for unfair pay. A jury awarded her $223,776 in back pay and $3 million in punitive damages. She never received any money and ultimately the case was thrown out when the Supreme Court ruled that the 180 day filing limit had begun with the first check she received showing her lesser pay. (So apparently our Supreme Court justices don't get it either!)

The House Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would return us to the longstanding rule (before the Supreme Court changed it in May), which treated each and every discriminatory paycheck as a new discrimination, thus re-starting the 180-day clock.

We will also be hearing from Clair Schuster, a tenured Associate Professor of Nursing at Berea College, who sued the institution for sex discrimination in pay in violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract. More details on this case are available on the Association website - http://www.aauw.org/advocacy/laf/cases/schuster.cfm. AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund supported Ms. Schuster in her fight for equity.

Workshops will focus on grass roots activism, personal and professional development along with some general interest topics.

It's a great opportunity to network, learn about AAUW and help us Move The Mission Forward.

If you are interested in finding out more, visit our website at aauw-nys.org/convention.htm.

You can contact me directly with any questions. I hope to see you there.

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