“It is fitting that with the very first bill I sign…we are upholding one of this nation’s first principles: that we are all created equal and each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness.”
—President Barack Obama, January 29, 2009
Seven years ago today, President Obama signed into law his first piece of legislation as President: the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which empowered women to recover wages lost to pay discrimination. While the gender pay gap has narrowed slightly over the past two years, there is much more work to be done to ensure fair pay for all. Today, the median wage of a woman working full-time year-round in the United States is about $39,600—only 79 percent of a man’s median earnings of $50,400.
Today, the President is highlighting several additional actions that his Administration is taking to advance equal pay for all workers and further empower working families:
These new actions will build on the steps President Obama has taken since day one create more equality in the workplace. In April 2014, to celebrate Equal Pay Day, he signed two executive actions to recognize the full equality of women and increase equity for all in the workplace. The first was an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against employees who discuss their compensation. The second was a Presidential Memorandum instructing the Secretary of Labor to propose a new regulation requiring federal contractors to submit summary data on compensation paid to their employees, including by race and gender.