Fair's fair

Apr 28 2008 by Derek Torres Print This Article

There are few things funnier, professionally speaking, then when companies whine that a new law is unfair because it's going to force them to be – fair! It's like listening to millionaires complain that they pay too much in tax.

Well, to both, all I can do is subserviently offer some cheese to go with that whine.

In this particular case, we've got companies across Massachusetts upset that Governor Deval Patrick allowed a law slip into passage that allows people to collect triple damages for wage payment infractions.

According to the article, this law covers "the prevailing wage law; the law setting wages for building maintenance companies with state contracts; the minimum wage law; the overtime law; the law requiring timely payment of wages; and the law governing disputes about bonuses and commissions."

So, does this mean that companies are upset that they might have to pay women and other minorities equally? It's hard to say, but it's likely the case since the official reactions are along the lines of "the governor promised he was against it and now he isn't!"

Well, what exactly is the problem? Create an equal workforce and you won't have to worry about being sued triply!

This is a fine example of why it's simply not possible to trust companies to do the right thing. I'm sure we'll hear all about how this law is going to cut into profits, making it impossible to create new jobs or guarantee the safety of existing jobs, etc. But let's not be deceived, it's simply a guilt trip to lie at our feet for demanding that companies act properly and within the framework of the law.

Perhaps in the past, the court of public opinion might have listened favorably, but in today's economy, I think most men want their wives and daughters to earn as much as they possibly can to get by.