President Barack Obama is making two moves to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women, USA Today Reported.

 

Obama today signed an executive order banning federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their salary. He also signed a presidential memorandum instructing Labor Secretary Tom Perez to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit to the Department of Labor summary data on compensation paid to employees broken down by sex and race.

 

The Labor Department will use the data to encourage voluntary compliance with equal pay laws, the White House said. In many workplaces, employees are forbidden from discussing their salaries. Obama said women are more likely to fight pay inequities in the workplace if they know about them.

 

Obama also encouraged Congressional Republicans to get behind the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would impose new regulations on how companies pay employees. The Senate is expected to vote on the legislation on Wednesday, but it is not expected to pass in the House of Representatives.

 

The White House has frequently repeated the statistic that women earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn.

 

The White House itself has disparity, according to this article in MarketWatch. The White House paid women a median of $65,000 last year, about 12 percent less than the $73,729 median annual salary for men. That means White House women make 88 cents on the dollar compared with their male counterparts.