Obama announces new rule on equal pay for women

Posted at 1:38 PM, Jan 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 13:38:18-05

President Barack Obama made his latest push to advance equal pay for women Friday, proposing a new rule that will require companies to report pay data by gender, race and ethnicity.

President Barack Obama made the official announcement at an event marking the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first piece of legislation Obama signed as President.

The Lilly Ledbetter Act loosened the statute of limitations under which workers can sue employers for pay discrimination based on characteristics such as gender, race, age or disability.

“While we’ve got a lot to celebrate we knew that our work wasn’t done.” President Obama said at the White House Friday. “We knew we had a lot more to do to close the pay gap between men and women and ensure that no women would ever face the kind of discrimination that Lilly faced on the job.”

The new proposed rule announced Friday — which would apply to companies that have 100 or more employees — will require employers to include salary information on a form already submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that currently includes employees’ sex and age.

“The notion that somehow we would be keeping my daughters.. or any of your daughter’s out of opportunity, not allowing them to thrive in every field … it’s counterproductive,” Obama said. “That’s not how we’re gonna build a bright future for our country.”

The proposed rule expands on a previously published rule by the Department of Labor, which would have applied only to federal contractors.

EEOC Chair Jenny Yang told reporters Thursday that the rule should be completed by 2016, with the first reports due September 2017.