Friday, September 19, 2008

Is it cheaper to be single?

I have only been at my new job for a few weeks and already I am struck by all the discrimination that is going on. No don’t worry, this has nothing to do with gender, ethnicity or even sexual orientation.

The only thing my new workplace discriminates against is single people. Yep, you read that right. They have lots of nice rules, bonuses etcetera that only apply to people who are married (or an equivalent like domestic or registered partnership).

For example, because I have not found a house yet in the town I started work I have to commute a lot and sometimes I even have to stay the night at a hotel. They have this great rule where they pay you back a certain percentage of the costs that are involved.

At least, I thought it was a great rule until I found out there are different rules for different people. If you are married they pay you back 90 % of your hotel costs, but if you are single they only pay you 60 %.

WTF?

I cannot think of any reasons at all why this would make sense. It is not like it is cheaper to be single. Ok maybe it is, but my hotel room costs just as much as that of the married person. Being in a serious relationship or not does not really have any connection with hotel expenses, or does it? If you can think of anything, please let me know.

Now companies often have rules that discriminate against single people (or as the married folks like to say, give married people extras because it’s so expensive to raise a family blah blah blah), but at least in most of these cases it actually makes sense.

Actually, I never think it makes sense, but at least I can try to see where they are coming from. In this case, however, it is just ridiculous. One of my straight friends (yep, the same one who does not understand the concept of online dating) has already offered to pretend to be in a domestic partnership with me.

That’s sweet of her, although she did not get why I refused. It is not about getting the extra money (60 % would have been fine with me), but it’s about the fact that some people are getting more only because of their marital status. How come that is legal?

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