Equal Pay Gets Kissed and Kicked

Yesterday was Equal Pay Day! (Did you feel it?)

On the bright side, President Obama signed an executive order banning federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation. (It’s not exactly mandating equal pay for equal work, but many women don’t know they’re being paid less than their male peers (even in jobs dominated by women) because employees aren’t allowed to discuss compensation. This is one of the issues that gave rise to the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which changed the statute of limitations on filing an equal-pay complaint.

On the other hand, Senate Republicans blocked a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would extend protection for people who discuss their compensation to the rest of us, and would require the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to collect compensation data from employers so the government would have data on the issue. (One of those ‘how have they not been doing that this whole time?!’ things, isn’t it?)

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