Scene A suburban Washington DC street some sunny afternoon in July. Little Sandra and her friend Mark arrive at the house of Mr George. Little Sandra pushes a manual lawn mower, the kind where the blade spins by pushing the wheels, and Mark holds a broom.
Little Sandra Excuse me, sir. Would you like your grass mowed?
Mr George Well, hello there. Trying to drum up a little business, eh? But aren’t you two a trifle old for this?
Little Sandra Yes, sir, we are. Trying to earn money, I mean. We’re both college students and our stipend of fifty-five-thousand isn’t enough to make it through the whole year. So in the summers we cut grass to make something extra on the side.
Mr George Isn’t that nice. Makes my heart sing to see gumption like that. Reminds me when I was a boy cutting tobacco. I suppose the lawn could use a trim—
(On these words, Mark takes the mower from Little Sandra, hands her the broom, and begins cutting the lawn.)
Mr George (With a smile in his voice) Anxious, isn’t it!
Little Sandra He sure is, sir. And now, sir, the matter of payment?
Mr George (Pulling out his wallet) Of course, of course. This outta do it. (He hands her a ten)
Little Sandra Very funny, sir. But I’m sure you know there are laws that specify that employers must pay their employees a certain minimum wage?
Mr George Now just a minute, young lady—
Little Sandra The laws also stipulate a minimum number of contracted hours. This doesn’t include mandatory breaks and a lunch which must be a full hour.
Mr George Why would you need lunch? This lawn isn’t—
Little Sandra Yes, sir. Lunch. You’re not responsible for paying for our lunch, but you should be aware—here are the numbers (she hands over a sheet of paper)—those employers that received the highest Diversity rankings sponsored their employees’ meals.
(It is clear Mark is doing a half-assed job of the mowing.)
Mr George The whole job will only take you half an hour!
Little Sandra The law’s the law, sir. And I’m a law student and activist so I know what I’m talking about.
(Mr George fishes in his wallet and pulls out more cash)
Mr George Fine, okay. Here. Just get the job done and go.
Little Sandra This barely covers it, sir. But since this is your first offense, we won’t file charges. But now there is the matter of my morning after pill, sir?
Mr George Morning after?
Little Sandra My abortifacient. I’m not obligated to tell you this, but Mark and I last night, for a very special reason, were in a hurry and I worry something might have happened. So if you’ll just…
Mr George Young lady, I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Little Sandra (Sighs) You already acknowledge you’re my employer? (She doesn’t wait for an answer) We’re already covered the wage laws, but you should know that under the new Obamacare laws, you have to pay for my abortions. You’ll also have to pay for my future birth control.
Mr George What! I will not pay for yours—or anybody’s–abortion! I am a Catholic and I believe abortion is murder.
Little Sandra Look, sir. I’ll make this easy. Your religious beliefs are irrelevant. And in any case, they are trumped by me being a woman. I want the abortion and you have to pay for it, and that is that.
Mr George This is insanity! Why should I give you money to murder your baby?
Little Sandra I’ll not answer the implied charge, sir. But you obviously have to pay because you’re my employer. When you became an employer, you took on the implied duties of being my bedroom monitor. You must fund the prevention of and the eventual abortion of any children I decide I do not want. Or if I decide I do want the child, you have to pay for that, too. And you must do this because you’re an employer.
Mr George Why should I pay because I’m an employer? Why should you allow me to have that level of intrusion into your life? You have your own money. Take responsibility for yourself! You pay for it!
Little Sandra Surely you realize this is an issue of women’s health, sir. Here are the relevant statistics. (She hands him another paper) You wouldn’t want me, a woman, to become sick because I had unprotected sex, would you? It will be cheaper for you to pay for my abortion than to pay for the birth of the child.
Mr George You’re out of your mind, young lady. I’m not paying for either. It’s your life. You pay. You damn your own soul. Don’t make me complicit. I only wanted you to do a specific task for me, a task for which I’m already paying more than enough.
Little Sandra Employers must pay because they are employers. Employers have a duty to pay for whatever might affect their employees’ bodies, wherever and whatever the employees do with those bodies. Employees have no monetary or personal responsibility at all. Employees have rights. If you don’t give me the money, I will run to Congress and tell on you, sir. Now if you would just fetch your checkbook?
Mr George And to think I’ve always been a loyal Democrat!
(Mr George exits off stage to fetch his checkbook.)
Little Sandra Mark? Ready? He’s going to get the money. That’s good enough.
(Mark leaves the lawn mower and doesn’t bother sweeping the clippings. Mr George returns)
Mr George This whole thing is surreal. I can’t believe what has become of my country.
(He begins to write a check)
Little Sandra Just one moment, sir. Don’t forget that we need funds to cover Mark’s gender reassignment surgery. Tomorrow, he will be Mary! (Whispers) That’s why we were in such a hurry last night. You know, one last time?
Mr George But…what?
Little Sandra You’re an employer, sir.
(Mr George knows he’s beaten, his shoulders slump and he writes a check and hands it over)
Little Sandra Thank you, sir. Nice doing business with you.
(Little Sandra and Mark/y drop the equipment and turn to leave, laughing as they go. After a few paces, Little Sandra’s cell phone rings)
Little Sandra Hello, Mr President!