Leading Equal Pay Advocates Call on Administration to Ban Retaliation by Government Contractors

DeLauro, Mikulski Urge Action on Fourth Anniversary of Lilly Ledbetter Signing

 

WASHINGTON, DC—Two congressional advocates in the fight for equal pay, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) today called on the Obama Administration to issue an executive order prohibiting government contractors from retaliating against their employees who disclose salary information.   DeLauro and Mikulski sent a letter to President Obama (attached to this release) outlining the need for such action. They are also authors of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would put such a prohibition on all employers.

 

“Until Congress passes the Paycheck Fairness Act, the least our own government can do is set the right tone by expecting compliance from folks with whom we do business,” DeLauro said.  “Ensuring women are paid equally for doing the same jobs as their husbands and brothers will help our economy, putting more money back into the pockets of hardworking Americans.”

 

“Women fight every day for equal pay. When they do, they’re sidelined, redlined or even pink slipped,” said Mikulski, Dean of the Senate women. “Right now in the marketplace it is legal to fire a woman if she asks about her pay, whether she goes to the personnel director or if she asks the person next to her at the water cooler. While we work to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act in Congress, we have to make sure that contractors doing business with the United States government are not retaliating against hardworking Americans for discussing salary information. This is unfair and it’s un-American.”

 

The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen and update the Equal Pay Act, signed into law 50 years ago this June.  Specifically, it:

  • Requires employers to show pay disparity is truly related to job performance—not gender
  • Prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who discuss or disclose salary information with their co-workers
  • Strengthens the remedies available to wronged employees
  • Empowers women in the workplace through a grant program to strengthen salary negotiation and other workplace skills
  • Requires the Department of Labor enhance outreach and training efforts to eliminate pay disparities