April 8, 2014
Washington, DC-- Today, on Equal Pay Day, the nation’s pioneering worker and consumer advocacy organization, the National Consumers League (NCL), is applauding President Obama for signing two historic new executive actions aimed at giving women more tools to help close the wage gap. Equal Pay Day, 98 days into 2014, symbolizes the extra time needed for women to earn the same salaries as their male counterparts in 2013.
Today the President signed 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 gender data on employee pay. This information will encourage voluntary compliance with equal pay laws and assist with more focused enforcement where possible discrimination exists.
“President Obama’s bold action will strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women,” said Sally Greenberg, Executive Director of NCL. “Pay discrimination is all too prevalent, and millions of women and their families are paying a heavy price for it.”
The Senate is expected to vote to open debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act as soon as tomorrow. The Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 84/S. 2199) would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and bar retaliation against 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.
“President Obama is a true champion for women in the workplace, from the first bill he signed into law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, to these actions today,” said Michell McIntyre, Outreach Director of Labor and Worker Rights at NCL. “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.”
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Its mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.