New NC Chamber leaders oppose women's pay equity

On Tuesday, February 3, the NC Chamber of Commerce (formerly known as NCCBI - NC Citizens for Business and Industry), will hosts its government affairs conference in Raleigh. State legislative and government leaders will attend and speak.

What is offensive is that this organization under the new leadership of a Mr. Lew Ebert (previously of Kansas and Pennsylvania) opposed the recently passed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

See their email alert here

While most small businesses may not be members of the statewide NC Chamber, many local chambers of commerce throughout the state affiliate with this organization. People at the local level should urge their local chambers of commerce to express their disbelief that the formerly well-respected NC Chamber has sunk to the new low of opposing equal pay for women in the workplace.

When you see the leadership of this organization, ask them why they opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Act. Ask them to explain to the women business owners, workers and legislators they court, how they can stoop to this level.

While NCCBI in its former incarnation took positions most on this site would disagree with, it truly astounds me that the new NC Chamber publicly took this stance on the Lilly Ledbetter Act, and then last week send an email blast to members and affiliated local chambers declaring that passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would harm the citizenry.

Contact your local chambers of commerce - especially their Government Affairs contact person, and express your displeasure with this markedly dark new direction of what used to be a more moderate organization when it was NCCBI.

Even pro-business moderates and conservatives could get behind the Lilly Ledbetter Act. What are these folks running the revised NC Chamber going to do next?

I hope the elected leaders attending the NC Chamber's confab on Tuesday will call them out on this outrageous stance.


From the NC Chamber's email decrying passage last week

Congress Passes, President Signs Ledbetter Bill
Long Fight Ahead in DC to Protect Jobs

On January 27th, just three weeks into the new Congressional session, the U.S. House voted to pass the Ledbetter bill (S. 181) – legislation opposed by our state Chamber and backed by unions and plaintiffs ‘ lawyers that will increase lawsuits against employers and raise the cost of doing business in our state. Just two days later on Jan. 29th, President Obama signed the bill into law. Click here to read more about the Ledbetter bill and find out how your representatives voted.

The fact that Congress passed this bill during the worst economic crisis since the Depression and that it’s the first bill President Obama signed should serve as a wake-up call for North Carolina’s business community. In order to bolster our struggling economy and protect jobs, the North Carolina Chamber urges its members to engage in our advocacy work and continue to contact our state’s Congressional delegation to prevent other legislation that will drive up costs and make employers less competitive from becoming law. Two other bills like this are the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 12) and the Employee Free Choice Act (expected to be introduced in the U.S. House in February).


Yes, paying women (everyone) an equal wage

for equal work is going to be the downfall of North Carolina's economy. Run for the hills. The sky is falling. How dare the law finally be given a set of dentures, set previously it had no teeth.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

DON'T kill the messenger here, guys !!

This Lily Ledbetter bill has the small business owners, the presidents of medium sized businesses and the CEO's of large corporations scared to death, folks.

Here's why (and again...I'm offering up my thoughts on this and am NOT for or against anything I'm presenting).

The heads of businesses/companies/corporations know that there is a HUGE cost in litigation with regard to labor law. This new "law" adds to that. For them, they see it as just another thorn in their side. Yes, that's one-sided, of course, because if an employer is doing something against the law, they deserve to be sued.

The problem for employers in this is that if there is a male manager that is far and away better (in most or all areas) than a female manager, they now can't give that manager a bonus or raise his salary for fear that a female manager would file a suit down the road for unequal pay. The female might lose...but the cost of litigation would be immense.

In addition, with regard to hourly paid employees....owners/management/CEOs will worry that if they pay a group of male "pickers" that can lift 75 pounds regularly (just an example) and receive a certain salary when some of the female "pickers" (same pay category) are paid less because they cannot lift that and have to be given assignments that have a lesser weight limit, they'll lose money and if those females aren't making the same as the males, they'll have suits on it as discrimination.


To me...what's gonna happen because of this is that businesses/companies/corporations are going to go to "agencies" to get their employees. This way, they can identify the "employees" they want and the requirements they want and "hire and fire them" with impunity. They won't have to worry about lawsuits against their own company because they're hiring through an "agency" and if there's some kind of complaint/suit, it would be against the "agency". Of course, that eliminates any kind of 401K contribution, retirement bennies, medical bennies.....lots of stuff working for a company might/would include.

But....that's just what the opponents of this bill are saying.

P L E A S E don't trash me for offering up this information.


The best thinking is independent thinking.

Easy to address

if there is a male manager that is far and away better (in most or all areas) than a female manager, they now can't give that manager a bonus or raise his salary for fear that a female manager would file a suit down the road for unequal pay.

That issue is easily addressed in this situation. You simply have to prove that the male manager is a better manager. I am sure you and I could both think of dozens of performance measures that would establish who is worthy of a merit raise and who is not. Documenting that decision is all the protection a company would need.

"Keep the Faith"

It's about "litigation costs"

That's what worries the companies/business owners, etc.

The best thinking is independent thinking.

I hear ya

But the trumped up worry of litigation costs have plagued the health care debate for decades, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that its not actually that big of a factor in increased health care costs. So when the same folks start yelling about the same issue but on a different bill I'm not inclined to listen (this isn't about you, I know you are just offering the alternative viewpoint)

"Keep the Faith"

Yeah...glad you know what I'm doin'

True. I'm just offering up what the concerns are. Hey, even the national and many local Chambers of Commerce units are publishing things against this new legislation for the reasons I'm presenting.

I worked in industry for decades and I've seldom seen ANY woman that couldn't do what a man does. In many incidents, women did sooooo many things that men couldn't...or, more importantly, wouldn't.

The big worry with regard to most companies is in the area of salaries for "salaried" employees. I do, in some circumstances, understand that if a company sees a man doing an extraordinary job vs. what the women are doing, there can be a difference in salary and if they have to now worry about women filing suit because of that, it could be a problem.

PLEASE don't trash me for that...because the opposite can also be true, but men don't normally file suit because a female is making more than a male. But, it does happen...especially in the textile industry.

It's all about litigation costs....which I've said here already.

The best thinking is independent thinking.