As Black Friday approaches, you have probably already been berated with sales deals urging you to consume and purchase products at unearthly hours of the morning after Thanksgiving. As that is happening, you should remember that many women working in Texas this weekend will be earning less than men. The inequality runs even deeper when you break it down by race– white women make 77 cents for every dollar men earn while black women make just 69 cents, and Latina women make 60 cents.
As you might recall, earlier this year our legislature could have done something about this inequality. The Texas Lilly Ledbetter Pay Act, sponsored by Senator Wendy Davis and Representative Senfornia Thompson, would have given legal standing to women who are paid less for doing the same job as men. It passed both the House and the Senate, and was only a Governor's signature away from being signed into law. And as we previously reported, Governor Rick Perry unfortunately vetoed the bill after he was urged by retailers to do so. Retailers such as Macy's and Kroger lied to Governor Perry by claiming the bill “duplicates federal law” despite both the Fort Worth Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court stating that the Texas law is necessary. Governor Perry chose big business over people and vetoed a bill that could've brought equal pay for equal work this holiday season for Texas families. In addition, our Attorney General Greg Abbott has been completely silent on the issue.
It's essential that you sign and pledge to boycott Macy's Black Friday sale during this Thanksgiving weekend. Encourage others who have not joined the boycott that Texans should only support businesses who will protect the right to fair pay for all of their workers.
Read more on the boycott below the jump.Unfortunately, Macy's won't admit to their wrongdoing until they see a change in the only thing that matters to them- profits. Staying on the trend of disregarding their workers, Macy's will be joining retailers like WalMart and Target by opening for Black Friday on Thanksgiving, taking their employees away even earlier from their families.
As Progress Texas reports, Macy's claims 73% of its management-level executives are female. They rely on this statistic as a means to avoid addressing systemic inequality that faces women in the workforce. Because when it comes to protecting women's rights in Texas courts, the corporation sides against women, claiming that “existing Texas laws provide strong remedies for resolution.” You can read more from this memo released by Progress Texas how Macy's and Kroger are wrong to say the Equal Pay Act duplicates federal law. The memo sites specifically how HB 950 changes the Texas Labor Code, while the federal law only amends the United States Civil Rights Act, which the state of Texas has no jurisdiction over. Additionally, several of our own state courts have ruled that in order for the Lilly Ledbetter Act to apply to Texas, the Legislature would have to take action.
It's a good rule of thumb in general to avoid Black Friday weekend, especially for those stores who have the audacity to make their employees work on Thanksgiving in preparation. But this year, Macy's cut it too close to home. Somehow, equal pay for equal work was too revolutionary idea for them in the year 2013. Make sure you sign the pledge and share it, so we can make sure this bill gets signed next legislative session.