Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Most unfortunate news

I originally hail from Kalamazoo MI. If you are from MI you may recognize that K-zoo is one of those progressive municipalities that has extended domestic partner benefits to lgbt's. You would also be aware MI passed a constitutional amendment to define marriage to exclude same sex couples causing those municipalities that recognize lgbt relationships and have extended benefits to face legal action if they don't stop.

I found out this morning that my friend Peg who is a minority contractor who gets about 2/3 of her work from various municipalities and other government entities now faces similar court battles. Peg is an exceptional contractor who does not discriminate. She employs only those best qualified to do the job regardless of race, sex or sexual preference. She also has a policy of providing benefits to all her employees and their partners whether they are married or not. She has managed to build the business she has because she produces exceptional results.

Peggy is now involved in the same legal action as many municipalities that don't want to refrain from providing domestic partner benefits. Mind you this includes hetero couples who are not married. If she is unable to win her court battle, at best she will have to downsize, more likely she will lose her business.

I have had occasion to work for Peg when she needed someone to run a crew for her. The people she employs are some of the most exceptional people I have had the pleasure of working with. I had not worked with so many women who could really work successful in the building trades. What I discovered is that a lot of "traditional roles" for women, when carried over into the construction site can make for exemplary work. Every woman who works for Peg has a fastidious attention to detail that makes them great finishers. Also Peggy has no room for "dead weight" on her crews, every one of her supervisors are also laborers. I am in that position at the company I work for. I have noticed that the women, especially those with kids seem to find it a lot less stressful than I do. Believe me it is extremely hard to work and supervise at the same time and yet women seem to do it effortlessly. In fact of the eleven crews she employs only one of them is run by a hetero male.

I have changed the name of my contractor friend. As I post under a pseudonym for business reasons I did not think it wise to expose "Peg" to further potential problems as she has plenty all ready.


oldwhitelady said...

Oh, so her name is not Peg, afterall?

Peggy is now involved in the same legal action as many municipalities that don't want to refrain from providing domestic partner benefits.

If she already offers insurance and benefits to people and their live-in, how is it that she has to courtbattle? Can't you cover whoever the hell you want and if not, why not? It's usually the employer who doesn't want to cover the partner because it saves them money.

DuWayne Brayton said...

The majority, by far of her business is with the county. All the municipal work she does goes through the county. The nature of her contracts with the county effectively make her employees county workers. Basicaly it boils down to this, the taxpayers cover the bill and supposedly don't wish to pay benifits to gblt couples.

Apparently her lawyer has gotten an injunction so she can keep up on the contracts she has for now and it is likely she will actualy get to finish them. New contracts however are not terribly likely to be forthcoming.