At the State of the Union address that President Obama gave earlier this year he emphasized the importance of equal pay, especially regarding equal pay for woman. He urged congress to work together to both raise the minimum wage and compensate employees of all sex and race equally. As the White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told reporters “Unfortunately, pay inequity is a real and persistent problem that continues to shortchange women, their families and our economy as a whole.”
After receiving harsh criticism from the republican party; such as Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, who wrote that the Paycheck Fairness Act is “a desperate political ploy and Democrats are cynically betting that Americans aren’t smart enough to know better;” Obama decided to pass two consecutive orders. The first order prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who discuss their salaries. The second presidential memorandum orders “new rules for contractors to file data with the federal government showing how they compensate employees, including by sex and race.”
These orders will not only help Obama’s already shaky legacy, but it is big step forward towards workplace equality in America. In order for the US to be considered a world leader both by its citizens and the community abroad, domestic problems such as wage inequality must be prioritized.