The Biden Administration Announces New Actions to Address Pay Equity

On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, the Biden administration announced steps to advance pay equity and promote women’s economic security. According to a White House fact sheet, the administration announced that it is taking actions to:

  • Advance pay equity for the federal workforce.
  • Promote efforts to achieve pay equity for job applicants and employees of federal contractors.
  • Strengthen pay equity audits by federal contractors.
  • Ensure equitable access to well-paying jobs.
  • Address discrimination against caregivers.

Among these actions is an executive order signed by President Joe Biden intended to promote pay equity and transparency for the federal workforce and employees of federal contractors. In addition, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new directive clarifying federal contractors’ annual obligation to audit their compensation practices to ensure pay equity.

The DOL also issued a report illustrating the impact of women’s concentration in low-wage sectors. The report outlines the Biden administration’s plan to address this disparity, which includes improving access and equity in education and training programs and supporting workers with caregiving responsibilities.

Finally, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published technical assistance on caregiver discrimination. The guidance warns that discrimination against applicants and employees based on pandemic-related caregiving responsibilities may violate federal employment laws.

What This Means

This announcement coincides with the Biden administration’s larger agenda of advancing pay equity. These new actions are generally directives to federal agencies, supplement or clarify existing guidance, or provide agency findings. As such, employers should continue to monitor the implementation and impact of these developments. TechServe Alliance will keep you apprised of any noteworthy updates.