Equal Pay Executive Orders Affect Federal Contractors

Employment Law

On April 8, 2014, President Obama signed two Executive Orders affecting federal government contractors. The signing was timed to coincide with National Equal Pay Day, the day that symbolizes how far into the next year women must work to earn what men earned the previous year. According to the Washington Post, the President’s actions were part of a Democratic effort to focus on gender pay gap issues and motivate women to vote in the midterm congressional elections.

One Executive Order prohibits retaliation against employees who discuss pay with co-workers. The White House maintains that the order will encourage pay transparency and provide workers an additional mechanism for discovering violations of equal pay laws. The other, more controversial Executive Order directs the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to promulgate administrative regulations requiring federal contractors to provide compensation data based on sex and race. DOL will use the data to conduct more…

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