AT&T wins women battle but loses war

May 21, 2009 2:10pm

It’s hard to imagine a more ill-informed or alienating move than AT&T’s drive to keep it’s female employees from getting their full pensions–simply because they happened to take maternity leave at a time when the company was not legally obligated to let them take their time off as a formal disability leave.  The supreme court found that the maternity leave pension discrimination was legal–but it’s a hollow victory for the company. In an era when women are the hot commodity in the workplace–when we outstrip men as educated talent as a talent shortage looms–smart companies are bending over backwards to keep the interests of women high on their lists of priorities. What kind of signal does this send to all of the female employees at the company? Not smart thinking about the future, AT&T.  And, by the way, the Supreme Court’s conclusion does seem to fly in the face of the recently passed Lilly Ledbetter legislation. She’d also lost at the high court, but congress then legislated that she most certainly had grounds to protest her pay difference based on each lower paycheck–even if she did not raise the issue all those years ago when her pay discrimination first started.  I’m not enough of an expert to figure out whether congress might now get involved in this issue–but it would sure be nice. I’d love to learn more about the culture at AT&T in terms of it’s female employees today. Thoughts anyone?

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