Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Tuesday released the following statement after President Barack Obama’s signing of two executive orders at the White House.
In January, Capps, along with several of her colleagues, sent a letter to the president urging him to sign these executive orders.
“These executive orders signed by the president today, on Equal Pay Day, are yet another step toward protecting American working women and ensuring equity and fairness in the workplace.
“The first executive order, which would ban federal contractors from retaliating against employees who talk about their pay, will give women the power to find out whether they are being treated equally in the workplace.
“The second executive order, which would require federal contractors to submit data on pay by race and gender, would ensure the Department of Labor can property enforce federal law on compensation discrimination.
“These two executive orders will bring not only the promise of economic security to women, but also to their families and our local economies. And that is why I wrote to the president urging him to take this important action. But while these orders are a step forward, there is more that we must do — and it will take congressional action to do it.
“Nationally, women earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. And on the Central Coast, women are doing only slightly better, earning 80 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. This is unacceptable. Congress needs to take up the Women’s Economic Agenda and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that will create stronger incentives for employers to pay workers fairly, empower women to negotiate for equal pay, and prohibit retaliation against employees who share salary information.
“It’s time to put an end to this wage gap so that America works for everybody.”
— Chris Meagher is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.