Now companies with 100 employees or more must disclose their pay data along with the gender, race and ethnicity of their employees, President Barack Obama ordered today. According to the president, black and Latina women are suffering the most from unequal pay practices. Disclosure of wages will make it easier for lawmakers to monitor the practices of individual companies and industries, rather than having to rely solely on median earnings data, which most recently has found the median full-time woman earning 79% of the median full-time man.
The comparison of median earnings is sometimes criticized as a crude metric for the gender pay gap. Economists have found that if you control for a host of factors, the pay gap is smaller — but persistent. The gap varies widely based on a woman’s age and her race. It also shifts depending which industry you look at.
The President says the requirements will be finalized in September 2016 and the first pay data reports will be due in the fall of 2017. The reporting requirement include an estimated 63 million Americans, providing important statistical information for monitoring the wage gap while reaffirming the need for equal pay across gender and racial lines.