Same Work, Same Pay

04.10.145:03 PM ET

Obama Tries to Close Wage Gap

On ‘Equal Pay Day,’ the president signed orders ensuring that federal workers could report wage disparities.

Recognizing "Equal Pay Day," on Tuesday President Obama signed two executive orders intended to help narrow the wage disparity between men and women. Although the statistic the president cited in his State of the Union speech—women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes—has been disputed by other lawmakers, it's incontestable that wage disparities do occur in the workplace. The orders  Obama signed will make easier to know if employers are paying unequal wages. One order bans federal contractors from punishing employees who share their wage information with fellow workers, while the other order requires federal contractors to report salaries to the Labor Department, including breakdowns by sex and race. These orders will affect at least 26 million workers—20 percent of the workforce.