President Obama to Take Major Executive Action on Equal Pay

April 5, 2014 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – President Obama will announce two new executive actions aimed at closing the wage gap for women during an event at the White House on Tuesday, April 8. Tuesday is Equal Pay Day, which marks how far a woman must work into 2014 to earn the same as a man did in 2013 alone.

The President will sign an executive order banning retaliation against employees of federal contractors for disclosing or inquiring about their wages. He will also instruct the Department of Labor to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit data on compensation paid to employees. This information will encourage voluntary compliance with equal pay laws and assist with more focused enforcement where possible discrimination exists with taxpayer funds. The ACLU has helped lead coalition efforts to push for these actions for several years.

“This is a huge victory for the one in five American workers employed by federal contractors,” said Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU senior legislative counsel and co-chair of the National Paycheck Fairness Coalition. “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. 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.”

In addition to the President’s announcement on Equal Pay Day, the Senate is expected to vote to open debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act as soon as Tuesday. The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and bar retaliation against all additional workers who ask about their employers’ pay practices or inquire about their own wages. It would allow women to receive the same remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subjected to discrimination based on race and ethnicity.

To read the ACLU’s letter to the President on both executive actions, visit

To learn more about the anti-retaliation executive order, visit

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