Obama uses executive power to require companies to report wage info by race, gender and ethnicity

Do as I say, not as I do.

Exercising his executive power to penalize companies that engage in discriminatory pay practices, President Barack Obama announced a new rule Friday that will require companies with more than 100 employees to report to the federal government what they pay employees by race, gender and ethnicity.

The proposal is “part of his push to crack down on firms that pay women less for doing the same work as men,” The New York Times reported.

“Women are not getting the fair shot that we believe every single American deserves,” Obama said. “What kind of example does paying women less set for our sons and daughters?”

The president made the announcement on the seventh anniversary of his signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for folks to sue for unequal pay. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will work with the Department of Labor to publish the proposed regulation by September.

According to The Times, the new rule “would expand on an executive order Mr. Obama issued nearly two years ago that called for federal contractors to submit salary information for women and men.”

“Social change never happens overnight,” the president said. “It is a slog and there are times when you just have to chip away and chip away. … It’s reliant on all of us to keep pushing that boulder up the hill.”

Except there hasn’t been much chipping away going on in the president’s own back yard.

The Washington Post reported in July 2014 that after more than five years in office, Obama had failed to narrow the gap between the average pay of male and female employees at the White House.

The average male White House employee earned about $88,600 in 2014, while the average female White House employee earned about $78,400, according to the Post. That is a gap of 13 percent, same as it was in 2009 when he first took office.


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Tom Tillison


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