Cornell University

Institute for Compensation Studies™

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News

April 10 2014

ICS Executive Director and ICS Research Associate discuss executive orders and pay transparency

President Barack Obama issued two new executive actions related to the gender pay gap on April 8, 2014. April 8th is this year's Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day when women's earnings catch up to men's from the previous year. (It takes women an extra 3 months of wages to make up the average 23% pay gap for women working fulltime across all occupations.)

One of the two executive orders that target federal contractors states that federal contractors may not retaliate against employees discuss how much they are paid. While Sections 7 and 8-a-1 of the National Labor Relations Act already protect this right (See NLRA: www.nlrb.gov/resources/national-labor-relations-act), the executive order could strengthen compliance. The second of the two executive orders will require federal contractors to report pay data that should illuminate something of any existing gender pay gaps in these organizations.

And, this month the Senate took up debate on the twice-rejected Paycheck Fairness Act, which also includes a clause to increase protections for employees who discuss their pay.

Institute for Compensation Studies Executive Director, Linda Barrington, and Research Associate, Stephanie Thomas, appeared on several media outlets to discuss and provide insight on the new executive orders, the U.S. gender pay, compensation transparency versus secrecy, and how the Paycheck Fairness Act, if passed, could change the rules.

Linda Barrington

Stephanie Thomas

Also for an informative perspective on the gender pay gap: