Friday, January 30, 2009

Obama Signs Fair Pay Act

Today President Obama continued to create the change he promised by signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which assures women receive equal pay to men. The bill cancels out last year’s disgraceful Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Supreme Court decision which gave plaintiffs only 180 days to sue employers for not paying them the same amount as other employees doing the same work.

Lilly Ledbetter worked for Goodyear for 19 years before learning she had been denied promotions and paid lower wages due to her gender. I don’t know about your job, but I’ve never worked in a place where employees went around comparing paychecks. It takes time to discover when pay discrimination is being practiced. You can’t just ask your boss about it.

For more on this historic act, I’ll let the President tell you himself:

“Lilly Ledbetter did not set out to be a trailblazer or a household name. She was just a good hard worker who did her job — and she did it well — for nearly two decades before discovering that for years, she was paid less than her male colleagues for doing the very same work. Over the course of her career, she lost more than $200,000 in salary, and even more in pension and Social Security benefits — losses that she still feels today.

“Now, Lilly could have accepted her lot and moved on. She could have decided that it wasn’t worth the hassle and the harassment that would inevitably come with speaking up for what she deserved. But instead, she decided that there was a principle at stake, something worth fighting for. So she set out on a journey that would take more than 10 years, take her all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, and lead to this day and this bill which will help others get the justice she was denied. …

“I intend to send a clear message: That making our economy work means making sure it works for everyone. That there are no second class citizens in our workplaces, and that it’s not just unfair and illegal — it’s bad for business — to pay someone less because of their gender, or their age, race, ethnicity, religion or disability.”

Thursday, January 29, 2009

CBU student hosts Financial Aid Q&A segment

Financial Aid Q&A from Jeremy Zimmerman on Vimeo.

Rochelle Guillen, a senior at California Baptist University, recently took the leap to try out her on-camera talk show skills by serving as host for a videotaped Q&A segment on the topic of financing a college education. Rebecca (Becki) Sanchez, CBU's director of Financial Aid, was the guest host. The video is posted on CBU's institutional website as a way to assist parents and students with the complexities of navigating Financial Aid - we produced the video in conjunction with Riverside County Office of Education in support of a "February is Financial Aid month" promotion, because the federal aid filings for "FAFSA" and the state aid applications for "CalGrant" funds are due by March 2 this year. Students and parents all over the nation are cramming to file their paperwork--it can be an overwhelming or arduous process, and every student who receives aid of any kind has to re-file each spring (new students AND continuing students). The bottomline, according to Becki, is "do it early," and get it over with--if you miss the deadline, you will still be eligible to receive aid, but not all funding products are available after the deadline so you reduce your options.