Lawmaker Promotes Black Friday Boycott of Macy's

Fort Worth state representative criticizes retailer for urging governor to veto Texas version of Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

By Randy McIlwain
|  Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013  |  Updated 3:50 PM CDT
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Lawmaker Promotes Black Friday Boycott of Macy's

NBC 5 News

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A Fort Worth lawmaker wants shoppers to boycott stores that lobbied against the Texas version of a federal equal pay law.

State Rep. Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth, has joined Progress Texas in asking people to not shop at  Macy's at the start of the holiday shopping season because of their efforts to get House Bill 950 vetoed.

According to the Texas Tribune, the bill would have synchronized state law with the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The federal legislation, which was signed into law in 2009, eased the statue of limitations in wage-discrimination lawsuits.

"It's just equal pay for equal work," Collier said.

Perry vetoed the bill on June 14, saying it duplicated federal law, "which already allows employees who feel they have been discriminated against through compensation to file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission."

Richard Cohen, the vice president of legislative affairs at Macy's, wrote a letter to Gov. Rick Perry, urging him to veto the measure.

"HB 950 would extend the expansive provisions of the federal Lilly Ledbetter Act into Texas law, creating an unnecessary additional means to sue employers for alleged employment discrimination," he said.

Collier says the issue is simple fairness.

"If a female does the same work that her male counterpart does, then she should be paid the same, and that's all that we're asking," she said.

In an email to NBC 5, a Macy's spokesperson touted its hiring of women as executives, saying the company absolutely believes in equal pay for equal work for men and women. But legislation often doesn't always propose legal remedies that benefit both parties while also expanding provisions that make it more possible to sue employers, Macy's said.

Macy's said it stands to work with critics and lawmakers to craft new legislation.

"I think Macy's is wrong," shopper Lica Boothe said. "I personally think it's not a matter of who you are, what you are, it's a matter of your qualifications, period."

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