Equal Wages for Equal Work Law Opposed by Texas Stores

Two of the largest stores in Texas appear to have made it clear that they were opposed to a proposed state equal-pay law. The proposed law would have enabled women to file a pay discrimination suit at the state level if their wages were found to be less than a man's for performing the same type of work. The bill was vetoed by the governor.

The current applicable federal law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, enables women to file an unequal-wage discrimination claim, but through the EEOC and at the federal level. The vetoed bill, if it had been passed, would have made that process easier for women in Texas because the suit would have then been possible at the state level. The governor's statement regarding the veto cited his opposition as being based on duplication of a federal law that he was concerned would hamper job growth.

Those who disagree with the governor's decision, claim that the retailers in opposition to the bill secretly organized to prevent its passage. A major Houston newspaper reported that representatives of five major retailers had contacted the governor to urge him to stop the bill from going through. A senator who supported the proposed equal pay legislation is now supporting a boycott of the retail stores that purportedly organized to obtain the governor's veto. The senator said the boycott should be continued until the stores discontinue their opposition to women earning equal pay for equal work.

The two alleged major players in obtaining the equal wages bill veto, Macy's and Kroger, did not return requests for comment. A spokesperson for the governor's office made a statement to the effect that the Texas retailers were not responsible for the veto decision. Discrimination comes in many forms and an employee's salary can be unfairly and wrongfully affected by a variety of factors and biases. Whenever an employee feels that their pay has been somehow affected in an unjust manner, it is in their best interests to obtain the assistance and guidance of a third party well-versed in the various state and federal laws that are in place to protect workers in our country.

Source: Source: Huffington Post, "Kroger, Macy's Face Boycott Call After Opposing Texas Equal Pay Bill," Amanda Terkel, Aug. 7, 2013