Obama to take executive actions to boost equal pay for women

Two executive actions will end pay secrecy for federal contractors

Topics: equal pay, Wage Gap, gender wage gap, President Obama, executive order, , ,

Obama to take executive actions to boost equal pay for women(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Obama plans to sign two executive actions Tuesday — Equal Pay Day — aimed at closing the gender wage gap for federal contractors, and reinforcing equal pay as a critical issue in the midterm elections.

The two actions, the L.A. Times reports, are aimed at encouraging transparency:

One action, an executive order, will prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who talk about how much money they make, according to an administration official familiar with the plans.

The other, a presidential memorandum, will require contractors to report data to the government showing the compensation they provide their employees by sex and race.

‎Advocates for pay equity say that a major challenge to enforcing equal pay laws is secrecy about what people are paid. Some employers maintain policies that punish workers who voluntarily share salary information with coworkers, according to the National Women’s Law Center.



The orders are timed to coincide with Senate Democrats’ hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which according to the Huffington Post would extend those same requirements to most other employers, not just federal contractors. The act, which has already been rejected twice by Congress, would also strengthen penalties for equal pay violations and put the onus on employers to demonstrate the (non-gender-based) reasons for salary differences between male and female employees.

Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of the first bill Obama signed into law and herself a victim of pay secrecy, will join the president Tuesday for the signing event.

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...