Obama Signs Exec Orders to Boost Equal Pay

Twin moves seek to reduce gender pay divide

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 8, 2014 12:12 PM CDT

(Newser) – On National Equal Pay Day, President Obama is taking action to fight the gender wage gap among federal contractors. Today, he signed an executive order requiring the companies to publish their wage data by gender and race, thus pushing them to adhere to laws on equal pay, al Jazeera America reports."Penalizing pay secrecy is an important step that sends a strong message," says a VP for the National Women's Law Center.

The move doesn't apply to private companies, though a Senate vote today could help change that. But the bill in question has twice failed to get through Congress, al Jazeera notes. Meanwhile, a second executive order today bars federal contractors from retaliating against workers who exchange information on their salaries, the Washington Post notes. "Pay inequity is a real and persistent problem that continues to shortchange women, their families, and our economy as a whole," says Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.

President Barack Obama applauds as he speaks at Bladensburg High School, Monday, April 7, 2014, in Bladensburg, Md.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Obama signs executive actions, with pending Senate legislation, aimed at closing a compensation gender?gap that favors men, Tuesday, April 8, 2014.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Obama signs executive actions to strengthen equal pay laws for women, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in the East Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Women’s rights activist Lilly Ledbetter acknowledges President Obama as she speaks in the White House, Tuesday, April 8, 2014.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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