Obama renews old equal pay legislation

February 4th, 2016



The women’s rights and equal pay movement is a timeless topic of controversy.


Globally, women have demanded that they get paid the same wages that men receive for the same or comparable jobs.


Approximately seven years ago on Jan. 29, 2009, President Barack Obama signed a piece of legislation that encourages women to reclaim the wages that have previously lost to men.


The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first piece of legislature that President Obama signed after being sworn into his first term in office.


“It is fitting that with the very first bill I sign… we are upholding one of this nation’s first principles: that we are all created equal an each deserve a chance to pursue our own version of happiness,” Obama stated.


The Lilly Ledbettter Fair Pay Act was named after a woman who discovered she was being paid significantly less than a man doing the exact same job. She filed her complaint, which eventually made its way to the Supreme Court.


This act lengthened the time and standards for which any person receiving unequal pay may file a formal complaint.

Barack Obama

In the last five years, wage discrimination has somewhat decreased between genders. However, full-time women still only make 79 percent of their male counterparts.


According to, a full time working woman on average earns $39,600. Meanwhile, full-time working men make approximately $50,400 on average annually. This is approximately $.77 for every $1.


To continue his efforts to eliminate the gender pay gap, President Obama and his administration has taken several addition actions during the month of January.


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a proposal to annually collect data depicting gender, race and age salaries.


This proposal states that any company that has 100 employees or more on its payroll is required to submit data breaking down their salary fees by gender, race, and age.


This increased documentation is thought to better educate the government as well as all people on the importance of equality of pay in the workforce.


In fact, the EEOC stated in a press release that, “This new data will assist the agency in identifying possible pay discrimination.”


President Obama has also renewed his call to Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. This would provide women with additional means of receiving the pay they deserve.


On May 23, 2016, The White House will be hosting a Summit entitled, “The United State of Women.”


This Summit will acknowledge the accomplishments the Obama Administration has made for women’s rights. The Summit will also identify the progress that still needs to be made.


Editor’s Note: Information from The Atlantic, National Women’s Law Center and was used in this report.