Category Archives: Law

Enough Already With the Crusade Against Low-Riding Pants

Originally published on Care2

 

Following the lead of Atlanta, Florida and, bizarrely, US Airways, among others, an Indiana town is trying to ban males from wearing their pants “hanging around the buttocks,” according to WSBT.com. The NWI Times reports that in Merrillville, Indiana, officials “are proposing an ordinance that would not allow people to wear their pants more than 3 inches below the hip in public places.”

Now we have to worry about the government intruding not only into our bedrooms, but also into our closets. Forget about the egregious violation of personal liberty — perhaps more worrying is that I’ve seen how government officials dress, and I do not want them in charge of my wardrobe.

But seriously, this would be a scary arrogation of power. “Councilman Ron Widing said he is concerned the proposal could be viewed as unconstitutional,” NWI Times noted. “I don’t know how we can tell anyone how to dress,” Widing said. Governments already ban states of undress, but that seems like a more legitimate issue of public concern than the height of one’s waistband. It’s not like men’s naked butts are hanging out — generally it is just their underwear.

I also have another reason to oppose Merrillville’s proposal: I love the low pants look. Whenever I need a smile, I can just look around for some guy with his pants around his groin and have a nice laugh. As I have noted elsewhere on this blog, it’s funny that they have to grab their pants all the time so they don’t fall down. It’s funny that they can’t walk normally because their pants constrict everything between their knees and their hips. And it’s funny that they think this is a good look for them.

Interestingly, Merrillville is not proposing to ban miniskirts, low-cut push-up tops, high heels (which actually injure women), or other clothes that reveal nearly all the skin a woman has. Instead it has aimed at a style that shows men’s boxers. What exactly are the Indiana officials trying to accomplish? Are they afraid that seeing some plaid fabric on a man will cause the citizenry to riot, but sanguine about the sight of an arresting amount of female flesh and the maiming of women’s feet?

Whatever their motivations, I hope that Merrillville’s leaders keep their sartorial preferences to themselves and let the rest of us make our own choices, however misguided.

 

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How to Get Your Bonus After You’ve Been Laid Off or Fired

You lost your job before bonuses were paid out for the year. Think you can’t get your bonus? You may be wrong. Read about what you can do in my article at Forbes.

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Judge Rules That Firing Woman Over Pumping Breast Milk Is Not Sex Discrimination

Lactation is not a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, and firing someone who wants to pump breast milk is not sex discrimination, according to a federal judge in Texas.

This decision is a stumper. Lactation occurs because of and immediately following pregnancy and childbirth, which makes it “related” to them. Only women lactate, so firing an employee because she needs to pump does discriminate against her on the basis of her sex.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission brought this suit against debt-collection agency Houston Funding on behalf of an employee whom the company fired, allegedly because she wanted to pump at work. The EEOC is considering appealing the decision by Judge Lynn Hughes (who is male).

Since the firing the federal government passed a law requiring employers to provide break time for new mothers to pump breast milk at work, but it does not prohibit employers from firing workers for pumping. One might have presumed that the anti-discrimination laws already had that covered, but now that is up in the air, and it will probably take years and opinions from higher courts to clear it up.

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