Source: NBC News by Erik Ortiz
In his final year in office, President Barack Obama is returning to an issue that was at the heart of the first piece of legislation he ever signed at the White House: closing the gender pay gap.
Obama on Friday unveiled new rules that would compel companies with more than 100 workers to provide the federal government annual data for how much they pay employees based on gender, race and ethnicity.
That information would be used to help public enforcement of equal pay laws while giving more insight into discriminatory pay practices, he said from the White House.
Historically, full-time female workers have only been paid a fraction of their male counterparts: In 2014, it was 79 cents for every dollar, according to the latest White House brief.
"What kind of example does paying women less set for our sons and daughters?" Obama asked.
The proposal would cover more than 63 million employees — potentially providing a new wealth of data for understanding the pay gap issue and determining whether certain workers are getting short-changed.
In addition, Obama renewed his call to Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would potentially close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and require employers to prove that pay gaps are due to legitimate business reasons, not discrimination.
The president also said the White House in May will host a summit — "The United State of Women" — to examine gender equality in America.
"The notion that we would somehow be keeping my daughters … any of your daughters out of opportunity, not allowing them to thrive in any field, not allowing them to fully participate in every human endeavor, that's counterproductive," Obama said.