Tomorrow is National Equal Pay Day: the day which symbolizes how far into 2014 women must work to earn what men earned in 2013. Pursuing his equal pay agenda and his recent penchant for executive orders, President Obama will reportedly sign two Executive Orders tomorrow with implications for federal government contractors. One order is said to prohibit retaliation against employees who discuss pay with co-workers, a right currently protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, which is applicable to most employers – not just federal contractors or unionized workforces. A similar non-retaliation provision also appears in the pending Paycheck Fairness Act.
The other, and seemingly more controversial, Executive Order President Obama is expected to sign will direct the Department of Labor to issue rules requiring federal contractors to provide compensation data based on sex and race. If you remember, OFCCP proposed a similar compensation data collection tool in 2011, which was resoundingly criticized by the National Research Council.
Stay tuned to see what new (or newly emphasized) obligations these executive orders mean for federal contractors.