Obama Just Announced New Executive Action To Combat The Gender Pay Gap
President Obama reportedly announced a proposal on Friday to require companies to provide data on how they pay employees based on their genders and racial backgrounds.
According to The New York Times, the rules are part of an executive action by the Obama administration aimed at getting large companies to pay everyone who does the same job equally, especially women.
Companies with 100 employees or more are apparently already required to submit annual forms to the federal government detailing the sex, age and job categories of their employees.
Obama's proposal, which will be published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Labor, demands companies now include on the forms how they pay each employee, as well as his or her race, gender and ethnicity.
The president reportedly said,
Women are not getting the fair shot that we believe every single American deserves. What kind of example does paying women less set for our sons and daughters?
Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House adviser, added the median wage for women with full-time jobs is just 79 percent of the median wage for men.
Under these new rules, companies risk penalization from the federal government should they pay one employee less than another solely because of sex or racial background.
The data will, additionally, show the government which industries and types of jobs are unfairly dominated by a certain sex or race, The Atlantic reports.
Marc Benioff, the chief executive of Salesforce.com, revealed it was only after he met with two female employees he realized his company was unintentionally paying women less than men.
In a conference call set up by the White House, Benioff said,
We're never going to solve this issue of pay inequality if CEOs like myself and others continue to turn a blind eye to what's happening in their own corporations.
Women were apparently being paid so unfairly at Salesforce.com, Benioff needed to spend $3 million to make sure they were equally compensated.
Today's announcement was purposely made on the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which gives an employee up to 180 days after receiving an unfair paycheck to file a lawsuit against the employer.
It also comes nearly two years after Obama issued an executive order requiring federal contractors to submit information regarding how all male and female employees are paid.
These rules are set to be finalized in September and would then take effect at some point next year.