Washington, D.C. — Today, on the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act—which helps ensure that victims of pay discrimination can pursue their cases by restarting the clock on the statute of limitations each time a discriminatory paycheck is paid—President Barack Obama announced a new executive action on equal pay. The action will provide enforcement officials with much-needed data about employer compensation practices that can be used to better target enforcement efforts and ensure compliance with the law, while also including appropriate privacy protections. Center for American Progress President and CEO Neera Tanden issued the following statement in response:
The president’s announcement is a welcome, critical step forward in the fight to combat pay discrimination and ensure equal pay for all. Requiring employers to submit pay data on an annual basis is a commonsense policy that is long overdue and essential for meaningful equal pay enforcement. Furthermore, the proposal sends a powerful message about the importance of upholding the commitment to equality enshrined in the nation’s equal pay laws through fair pay practices and vigorous enforcement of the law. CAP urges the administration to move forward to finalize this proposal as quickly as possible.
Promoting equal pay is vital for women, men, families, and the nation’s overall economic growth. Yet closing the wage gap not only requires executive action, but also action from Congress. There are concrete, comprehensive steps that Congress should take immediately to help close the pay gap, from strengthening existing equal pay protections to raising the minimum wage and adopting strong work-family policies that enable women and men to stay in workforce.
The proposal will build on an existing data collection enforcement tool already used by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Labor, thus maximizing the effectiveness and reach of their enforcement resources. This proposal will cover more than 60 million private-sector workers.
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