President Obama on Friday [January 29] unveiled new rules that will put a close to the gender pay gap.
Obama’s administration plans to compel companies with more than 100 workers to provide the federal government annual data for employees (more than 63 million employees) based on gender, race and ethnicity. According to the White House, this action is meant to “advance equal pay for all workers and to further empower working families.”
An oft-cited statistic indicates full-time female workers have only been paid a fraction of their male counterparts. In 2014, it was 79 cents to a man’s dollar, according to the latest White House brief.
“The gap’s even wider for women of color,” Obama said. “A typical Black working woman makes only 60 cents. Typical Latina woman makes only 55 cents for every dollar a white man earns. And that’s not right.”
“What kind of example does paying women less set for our sons and daughters?” Obama asked.
The president’s announcement Friday comes on the seventh anniversary of his signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was the first piece of legislation he [Obama] signed into law as president. The act is aimed to close the gender pay gap by making it easier for employees to sue for pay discrimination.
Obama also stressed Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, and released a report on the state of the gender pay gap. The report will require employers to prove that pay gaps are due to legitimate business reasons, not discrimination.
The president also said the White House in May will host a summit—”The United State of Women”—which will examine gender equality in America.
“The notion that we would somehow be keeping my daughters … any of your daughters out of opportunity, not allowing them to thrive in any field, not allowing them to fully participate in every human endeavor, that’s counterproductive,” Obama said.