Local state rep urges El Pasoans to boycott Macy's on Black Friday

KTSM
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 9:45pm

While many people are busy finalizing their Black Friday shopping list, there's one major department store chain that thousands of Texans have pledged not to support.

A petition posted on the Progress Texas website asking shoppers to boycott the chain had more than 5,500 signatures as of Wednesday evening.

The pledge reads, “I will not shop at Macy's on Black Friday because they urged Governor Rick Perry to veto the equal pay law, HB 950."

House Bill 950 would require equal pay for women in Texas, and passed both the Republican led House and Senate. However, when it reached Governor Rick Perry, it was vetoed.

"When it was at the Governor's desk, Macy's and other companies decided to write the Governor and say he should veto the bill," said State Representative Mary Gonzalez.

Governor Perry ended up vetoing HB 950 during the June Texas Legislative Session.

In a statement, the governor said,

"House Bill 950 duplicates 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."

Macy's released a similar statement that read:

"Macy's absolutely supports equal pay for equal work among men and women. This has been a fundamental principle in our company for many years. Keep in mind that 73 percent of management level executives at Macy's, Inc. are women, and we have been widely recognized for our support of women at all levels of the organization and in the communities where we operate. We believe that existing federal and Texas state laws provide strong remedies for the resolution of any claims of discrimination"

Although the statements from Governor Perry and Macy's said there are sufficient laws in the state of Texas to protect women who feel they've been discriminated against, Gonzalez said that is not so.

"I wish that we had enough laws that were protecting from unequal pay but we don't. There's no statute hat specifically talks about unequal pay a d women having access to state courts," she said.

Gonzalez cited two different cases in Texas (Tarrant County Regional Water District vs. Villanueva, Prairie View A&M vs. Chatha) which couldn't be decided in state court, and specifically ruled that legislative action was needed. Gonzalez agrees that the law is needed.

"If women want to be protected then they have to go to a federal court and sometimes that means women have to travel farther and it's more expensive," she said

Gonzalez also said that 42 other states that have similar laws in addition to the federal law.

"Women shouldn't have to work so hard to say, 'I'm being discriminated against,' they should be able to be protected under state and federal statue, she said.

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