Politics

Obama Takes Aim At Gender Pay Disparities, But White House Has Its Own Gap

| by Jared Keever

President Obama is taking steps this week to narrow the gap in pay between male and female federal workers. 

The president will issue two executive orders on Tuesday according to the Associated Press. The first will prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their wages. The other will direct the Labor Department to require federal contractors to release data regarding compensation and break it down along race and gender lines.

The orders are an effort by the White House to sidestep Congress who has been slow to take up legislation regarding compensation disparities. The Senate passed gender pay equity legislation this week but it is unlikely that it will pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. The executive orders will only apply to federal workers but their numbers do account for roughly 25 percent of the nation’s workforce.

Many support the coming actions by the president.

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“From making the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act the first bill he signed into law to these actions, the president has proven himself to be a true champion for women in the workplace,” said Deborah J. Vagins, senior legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union. “Congress still needs to do its part and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, but we’re one step closer to achieving pay equity thanks to this White House.”

While the executive orders may be one step closer for pay equity in the country, the Daily Caller reports that the Obama administration has its own work to do. A recent story shows that women in the White House made 11.8 percent less than their male counterparts in 2013. That’s slightly better than the 13 percent gap in 2012. The Washington Free Beacon reported that women made 18 percent less than men in the White House during 2011. 

That shows improvement on the administration’s part, but nationally the current wage gap is 23 percent.

Sources: ABC News (AP Story), The Daily Caller, The Washington Free Beacon