Why the New York City Department of Sanitation is Paying More for Menopause

This bank is trying to keep employees by offering paid leave for menopause.” (We wrote about this in “Banks are not hiring: Paid Leave for Menopause Hits Women the Hardest,” which appeared in the March/April 2000 issue of Bias/Counterpoint.)

Many of these employers have decided to take this idea to heart. Some are even working to make their benefits “real.” The “real” benefit, of course, is no benefit at all. One New York City employer who is trying to make this a reality is the New York City Department of Sanitation. But rather than take on the role of providing free family leave for its employees, the city’s Department of Sanitation has decided to pay a little extra money each year to employees affected by menopause.

Why the New York City Department of Sanitation? Why not the city’s Department of Labor? Why not the city’s Department of Housing and Community? Why not all of them? Perhaps because, in the midst of these economic crises, it doesn’t make sense to pay women less while hiring more men.

We should be making men and women equally important in our society. Both genders have to be working for an honest day’s pay. Our society must work to make life more pleasant for both.

Instead of making a real difference in this recession, the New York City Department of Sanitation is hoping that women affected by menopause can be offered “family leave” for free. And, if that’s a “real” benefit — because that’s what it is — that’s a real tragedy.

Leave a Comment