Last Friday Texas Governor Rick Perry vetoed HB 950, a bill to prevent wage discrimination against women. The bill had been passed through the Texas House and Senate with bipartisan support.
The bill would have made Texas’ equal pay act more closely mirror the federal Lilly Ledbetter Act. Under federal law, the act’s 180-day statute of limitations restarts every time a pay check is issued. Under Texas law, however, the 180-day statute of limitations to bring suit runs only from the time of the original pay decision.
Gov. Perry suggested that at least one of his reasons for vetoing the bill was that federal law already provides women protection from wage discrimination. However, as the bill analysis points out, the state and federal laws regarding equal pay should be uniform so that consistent laws govern relationships between employees and employers, avoiding confusion. Additionally, the bill analysis points out that the time and cost involved in proceeding in federal court may be more than in federal court.