President Obama Issues New Executive Orders Affecting Federal Contractors' Employment Practices


On Tuesday, President Obama continued his efforts to take available action to implement his labor agenda without congressional approval. The latest steps involve two new executive orders affecting federal government contractors. The first order prohibits contractors from stopping employees from discussing their salaries among themselves. The second order directs the Department of Labor to begin collecting compensation data from contractors based on gender and race.

The two provisions are similar to pending legislation intended to address gender disparities in compensation. They are intended to provide transparency in pay in order to encourage employees to seek equal compensation. The National Labor Relations Board already takes the position that policies that prohibit employees from discussing their compensation violate the NLRA for all employers, not just federal contractors. The new order gives contractors’ employees another means for addressing employer violations of this principle.

As with previous executive orders affecting contractors’ minimum wage, the new measures may be mostly symbolic. The pending legislation on pay equality stands little chance of congressional approval, and the President appears limited to use of executive powers to address his labor proposals. The next step may be to prohibit discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of employee sexual orientation.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.