When asked “How much do you make?” people may respond in one of two ways. The first is to openly share salary information because the person may perceive a balanced pay equity. Other individuals regard this as an uncomfortable question and avoid answering by steering the conversation in another direction. In a professional environment, though employers are unable to prevent employees from discussing their wages, they may soon be required to reveal pay information for their employees to the federal government. This new requirement is the result of a Presidential directive to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to develop a reporting tool that would require employers to submit pay data on employees nationwide so the agencies can target investigations to address the gender “pay gap.”
According to the White House, full-time working women earn 79% of what their male colleagues earn. To address this pay disparity, on January 29, 2016, the Obama administration announced that employers with 100 employees or more may be required to provide detailed wage information for all employees, including earnings, gender, race, and ethnicity.
Historically, pay as it pertains to gender discrimination has been addressed in the passing of three key pieces of legislation: The Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.