Nadler, Norton, DeLauro, Speier Ask President Obama to Help Close Gender and Racial Pay Gap by Prohibiting Federal Contractors from Seeking Salary History

Nov 29, 2016 Issues: Civil Liberties, Jobs, Labor and the Economy

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) joined Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) in sending President Obama a letter urging him to take executive action to prohibit federal contractors from seeking the salary history of prospective employees.  The executive action would make further headway on eliminating the wage gap that women and people of color often encounter.  Earlier this year, Representatives Norton, DeLauro, Nadler, and Speier introduced the Pay Equity for All Act (H.R. 6030) to prohibit employers from asking prospective or current employees for their salary history before making a job or salary offer.

In their letter, the Members wrote, “Even though employers may not intentionally discriminate against applicants or employees based on gender, race or ethnicity, setting wages based on salary history reinforces the wage gap.  Members of historically disadvantaged groups often start their careers with unfair and artificially low wages compared to their white male counterparts, allowing any disparities to be compounded from job to job.  Our bill is still pending, and some states are considering similar salary history legislation.  However, executive action is needed at the federal level and would reinforce the important initiatives you have already taken to eliminate the wage gap and promote equal pay.”

The full letter is below.

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We appreciate all that you have done to fight for equal pay during your time in the White House, both through legislative initiatives and executive actions.  We write to urge you to consider taking executive action to prohibit federal contractors from seeking the salary history of prospective employees.

Earlier this year, we introduced H.R. 6030, the Pay Equity for All Act, which aims to eliminate the gender and racial wage gap by prohibiting employers from seeking the salary history of job applicants as a condition of employment or continued employment.  Even though employers may not intentionally discriminate against applicants or employees based on gender, race or ethnicity, setting wages based on salary history reinforces the wage gap.  Members of historically disadvantaged groups often start out their careers with unfair and artificially low wages compared to their white male counterparts, allowing any disparities to be compounded from job to job.

Our bill is still pending, and some states are considering similar salary history legislation.  However, executive action is needed at the federal level and would reinforce the important initiatives you have already taken to eliminate the wage gap and promote equal pay.
Thank you for considering our request, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Eleanor Holmes Norton
Jerrold Nadler
Rosa DeLauro
Jackie Speier

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