WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress are making a concerted election-year push to draw attention to women's wages, linking Obama executive actions with pending Senate legislation aimed at closing a compensation gender gap that favors men.
Obama on Tuesday planned to sign an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their pay. He also was to direct the Labor Department to issue new rules requiring federal contractors to provide compensation data that includes a breakdown by race and gender.
The Democratic-controlled Senate this week planned to take up legislation that would make it easier for workers to sue companies for paying women less than men because of gender. The legislation, like Obama's narrower executive order, would forbid companies from punishing workers who share salary information and would allow punitive and compensatory damages in lawsuits.