meep (meep) wrote,

A followup.... four years later: Walmart sex discrimination case

You may remember, four years ago, I wrote about the Walmart sex discrimination case:

It is more than possible that a similar dynamic is going on at Walmart. I doubt that their wages are the same across the country, as most retail employees are going to be drawn from the local population (is someone going to relocate to be a store manager? Perhaps, but doubtful on the salaries they make), so the wages are going to be very dependent on the local wage market. Wages in rural Missouri are likely to be lower than wages in suburban Chicago, for instance. It could be that stores where retail wages are lower find far more women as employees, and perhaps these areas also have fewer promotion opportunities. It could be that men are more likely to work at Walmart only for the higher wage stores,where due to volume, there are more managers.

I agree with Walmart that as promotion and wage decisions are made locally, the proper comparison should be on a local basis, so as to prevent the kind of confounding result one gets from Simpson's paradox. I hope whoever Walmart brought in as an expert witness did explain the disparity between the plaintiff's evidence of a national disparity and the store-by-store evidence. This is not to say that sex discrimination is going on in none of the Walmart stores (and it could even be that in some stores, women are preferred over men), but that national statistics mean nothing without looking at a store-by-store account.

The Supreme Court just heard arguments on making this a super-duper class action case, and I covered this in my other blog this past week.

From my first post:
You mean the EEOC is ineffective? Well, knock me over with a feather!

Of course, it’s because lawyers would love a big payday. Let’s pretend your hypothetical $13K-making-woman wants to sue (obviously, she’s only a part-time worker); even if you worked on contingency, what kind of raises was she likely out of? At most a dollar or two an hour? That doesn’t make much for damages. But if you’ve got hundreds of thousands of such women, ka-ching!

From my second post:
So I am tired of hearing that elementary school teachers, or whatever female-dominated profession, should be paid more. Women created those “problems” for themselves. If they cared all that much about money, they’d be pursuing it more like men — going into the higher-paying, nastier jobs. Idly whining that you’d like more money is as meaningful as a child trying to get a higher allowance — pure rent-seeking behavior. If you aren’t willing to change jobs, take on more responsibilities, take on more unpleasantness, take on more uncertainty, in exchange for the money, then you’re not being serious.

I think most people, while being happy with the thought of being paid more, do understand the trade-offs. I have been having lots of conversations with older Boomers lately who have stepped down the responsibility levels of the jobs they take on, which also means they’ve been taking lower salaries than in the past. But these people have lower debts to cover, and don’t have the health or energy that they once had. They understand that, and don’t have a problem that they are no longer at their earning peak. I see nothing wrong with choosing more leisure or less responsibility over more money, but people need to realize these are the choices being made.

Get over to POWIP for much longer stuff.

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