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. (Read more President Obama stories.)