Not Enough Change – Gender Wage Gap

NotEnoughChangeThe newly released U.S. Census report shows that the gender wage gap has barely budged.  According to AAUW’s news release,  the median earnings of women working full time in the U.S. in 2013 were just 78 percent of men’s earnings — compared to 77 percent in 2012.  For minority women, the gap is even wider.

AAUW has been a strong advocate of the Paycheck Fairness Act to address this pervasive and persistent wage equity issue, but the U.S. Senate once again blocked it from coming up for a vote, so our work on this legislation is not done.  If you haven’t already done so, use AAUW’s Action Alert system to contact your legislators to keep this legislation and issue front and center.

UPDATE since originally published:  Look at AAUW’s detailed breakdown of the current wage gap figures, including an analysis of race and geography factors.

AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund Supports Sex Discrimination Suit against University of Tennessee

reprinted from Mission & Action, AAUW’s e-newsletter

August 12, 2014

Former athletic department professionals allege unequal pay practices and retaliation:

The American Association of University Women Legal Advocacy Fund announced today that it will provide support to the plaintiffs in Moshak v. University of Tennessee, a case that underscores the everyday nature of gender discrimination in college athletics.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 by Jennifer Moshak, Heather Mason, and Collin Schlosser, former employees of the University of Tennessee’s women’s athletics department. The plaintiffs allege sex discrimination and unlawful retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. They claim they were unlawfully discriminated against and eventually forced out of their positions during a university-led merger of the men’s and women’s athletic departments.

Schlosser and Mason argue in part that they were fired by UT after making internal complaints alleging unequal pay between the men’s and women’s athletic departments. Moshak claims she was forced to retire after being demoted and marginalized. The plaintiffs also say that during the merger, which was led by newly hired Athletic Director Dave Hart, the vast majority — 86 percent — of positions terminated either were held by women or were associated with the women’s athletic department.

“This case is an opportunity to grapple with some of the gender gaps still at play in university athletics,” said AAUW Executive Director and CEO Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “We are proud to stand with these plaintiffs in their fight for fairness. Their claims shine a light on why AAUW does this type of work, day in and day out.”

The case is currently scheduled to go to trial in June 2015 in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Tennessee.

“The University of Tennessee and its Athletic Director Dave Hart engaged in blatantly discriminatory and retaliatory actions against accomplished employees in the women’s athletic department, in violation of Title IX and other federal laws,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney, Lisa Banks, of Katz, Marshall, and Banks, a civil rights law firm in Washington, D.C. “Gender discrimination is unfortunately a situation that is all too common in collegiate athletic departments across the country today, and we intend to use all the tools at our disposal to hold the university accountable and to shed light on this pervasive problem.”

The AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund has been crucial to the success of many gender discrimination cases during its 33-year history. The case support program provides financial and organizational backing for plaintiffs challenging gender discrimination in education and the workplace. The funds come directly from the generous contributions of AAUW members.

Media Contacts:
Katie Broendel, broendelk@aauw.org
Lisa Goodnight, goodnightl@aauw.org

Book Group News

Our next book will be the The invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. Many of you may have read her previous bestsellers The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair. The Invention of Wings is a fictionalized account of the story of the Grimke sisters, Sarah and Angelina, who were at the forefront of the abolitionist and women’s rights movements. See the following link to read the remainder of the review (http://www.npr.org/2014/01/11/260192246/finding-flight-in-the-invention-of-wings).

The discussion will begin on Sept. 25, 2014 on our listserv. If you would like to join our bookgroup listserv you can find my contact information in the September Onliner News.

Happy Reading

AAUW LAF Express

New LAF Case Challenges Gender Discrimination at the University of Tennessee

We’re proud to announce LAF support for a new case, Moshak v. University of Tennessee. The lawsuit was filed in 2012 by Jennifer Moshak, Heather Mason, and Collin Schlosser, former employees of the University of Tennessee’s women’s athletic department. The plaintiffs allege sex discrimination and unlawful retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. They claim that they were unlawfully discriminated against and eventually forced out of their positions during a university-led merger of the women’s and men’s athletic departments.

Schlosser and Mason argue in part that they were fired by the university after making internal complaints alleging unequal pay between the women’s and men’s athletic departments. Moshak claims that she was demoted, marginalized in the department, and then forced to retire. The plaintiffs also say that during the merger the vast majority — 86 percent — of terminated employees were either women or were men in the women’s athletic department.

VGIF Flash-August 2014

Rural Women's Empowerment and Development Project, Kenya

Rural Women’s Empowerment and Development Project, Kenya

The latest issue of the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (VGIF) Flash has a wonderful summary of a project that empowers widows in Kenya through agriculture, providing them not only with food security, but also leadership and economic skills, and advocacy for their legal rights.

The Online Branch is a member organization of VGIF.

AAUW Funds Fall Luncheons

The AAUW CA Funds Committee
invites you to a
Celebration Luncheon
honoring 2014-2015
Funds Fellows and Grant Recipients
in California

Southern California – Seal Beach

Sunday, October 19, 2014
12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
(Registration 11:30 a.m.)

Old Ranch Country Club
3901 Lampson Ave.
Seal Beach, CA 90740

$40.00 per person
RSVP Deadline: October 8, 2014

Choose Sunburst Chicken Salad or Vegetarian Sunburst Salad for entree. Beverage and dessert are included.

Northern California – Danville

Sunday,  November 2, 2014
12:00 –  3:00 p.m.
(Registration 11:30 a.m.)

Crow Canyon Country Club
711 Silver Lake Drive
Danville, CA 94526

$40.00 per person
RSVP Deadline: October 22, 2014

Choose Grilled Chicken Cobb or Vegetarian Cobb for entree. Beverage and dessert included.

Get more information or register at  http://www.aauw-ca.org/index.cfm?go=pages.view&pagesid=459&parent=202&coparent=459

Or, mail the number attending, names, branch name, and entree selections, with your check payable to AAUW CA to:  AAUW CA, 1331 Garden Highway, #100, Sacramento, CA 95833

 

VGIF “The Flash” Update

The latest edition of the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund (VGIF) “The Flash” reminds us how important it is to engage and educate men in the work of promoting gender equality around the world.  The research explained in this short article emphasizes that advancing equity for women and girls is not a zero-sum game — that men and boys benefit from equity, too.  Citing one example of a VGIF project in Kenya to promote women’s leadership and inheritance rights, the article says that by engaging male elders and decision-makers as well as the women of the community proved to be a “strategy that has been transformative.”

AAUW LAF Express

Good News for LAF-Supported Plaintiff in Discrimination Case

The Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination (MCAD) recently upheld a ruling in favor of LAF-supported plaintiff Lulu Sun in her gender and race discrimination case against the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. In May the commission upheld an MCAD hearing officer’s 2011 decision, ordering the university to pay the emotional distress damages award and civil penalty and to conduct anti-discrimination training.

The university conceded any further appeal, which means that the MCAD’s ruling in Sun’s favor will stand. We are proud to have supported Sun’s case and congratulate her on this final ruling.

Title VII Turns 50

July 2, 2014, marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of gender or race, among other protected classes. In the last half-century, we have made tremendous progress toward gender equity in the workplace. But this anniversary also provides an opportunity to take stock of places we still lack progress. Find out more about Title VII and learn what you can do to help fulfill Title VII’s promise.

AAUW LAF Express

AAUW Members Hear What the Latest Supreme Court Decisions Mean in Recent LAF Call

On July 15, AAUW members from across the country joined LAF staff to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court’s most important cases from this past term. Members heard a breakdown of the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, which will allow some corporations to restrict their employees’ contraceptive insurance coverage. The call also reviewed Congress’ attempts to ensure women’s access to affordable contraception. LAF staff and callers also discussed the court’s rulings on abortion clinic buffer zone laws, prayer in local government meetings, and affirmative action restrictions.

If you weren’t able to attend the call, you can listen to a recording. LAF will host a preview call this fall to highlight the cases the Supreme Court will take up in 2015. Stay tuned for more information.