End Pay Secrecy Among Federal Contractors

Target: President Barack Obama

Goal: Ban federal contractors from retaliating against employees for talking about wages

In many jobs across the country, women are paid less than men. However, not every unfairly treated woman realizes that she is being paid less, because of pay secrecy policies. These policies, instituted in many companies, forbid employees from talking to each other about their wages. The effect of policies like this prevents unfairly treated employees from realizing that they are not getting an equal wage. This happens in companies across the country, including federal contracting companies.

Pay secrecy policies affect nearly half of all workers in the United States. These policies are often used to hide discriminatory pay practices. Women are often paid only 77 on the dollar made by their male counterparts, and the wage gap is often worse for women of color. These women, working under pay secrecy policies, may not realize when they are victims of discrimination. If they do learn of a difference in wages and try to pursue what they are owed, they may be fired in retaliation.

This practice of pay secrecy and retaliation must stop. As many of the companies that have these policies are federal contractors, an executive order from President Obama can protect the employees of these companies. Workers have a right to know if they are the victims of discrimination, and ending pay secrecy policies will give them that right. Tell President Obama to ban retaliation for talking about wages in federally contracted companies.


Dear President Obama,

Women are often discriminated against in their wages, as they make an average of 77 cents on the dollar of the average man’s wage for the same position. Many companies are guilty of paying their female employees less, and are able to keep the employees from knowing of this discrimination through pay secrecy policies. Pay secrecy policies forbid employees from discussing their wages, effectively keeping female employees from knowing what their male counterparts earn. If they do learn of the difference and protest against it, the companies are free to retaliate against these employees.

I ask you to ban retaliation for discussing wages for companies under federal contract. This includes many companies across the country, so numerous people will be protected and free to ensure they are being treated fairly in the workplace. Although this is a widespread problem, stopping the unfair policies in federally contracted companies will help a great number of people and show other companies how better to protect their employees.


[Your Name Here]

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