So, the proposed bill vetoed by Gov. Perry was the subject of lobbying efforts by some retailers. The bill, passed in both houses of the Legislature, would have allowed women and others to file suit when they learn of pay discrimination. Now, they must file suit even though they may not learn of a pay discrimination violation until years too late. I previously wrote about this veto here. This veto leaves women and others in the position that to file suit, they must learn of the pay disparity within 180 days of the disparity. But, since employees rarely discuss their pay, such knowledge will come far too late to allow any such lawsuit. The U.S. Congress passed a statute to allow such lawsuits. But, when Texas tried to pass an equivalent bill, Gov. Perry exercised his veto power.
It turns out that the governor was lobbied by Kroger’s, Macy’s, Brookshire Grocery Company, a Houston based grocer, Market Basket and the Texas Association of Business and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. HEB, a San Antonio grocer, did not participate in the lobbying effort. See Aug. 6, 2013 edition of the San Antonio Express-News. Thanks to an open records request by the Houston Chronicle, we have better a idea regarding what actually motivated Gov. Perry’s veto. As the bill’s sponsorrs mentioned, they had no idea the Governor was opposed to the bill. The bill passed with bipartisan support.
If the Governor had some particular issue with the bill, he could have made his intentions known. But, in doing this stealth veto, the Governor ensured the bill would not pass in any form.
At the time, Gov. perry said he opposed the bill to maintain Texas’ positive business support. He also claimed that federal law provided an adequate remedy. But, as I explained previously, federal courts are unfriendly to employees in many parts of the state.
And, now, we know the rest of the story……