The Spectacle Blog

Confiscate the Pen: Obama Demands Wage Transparency

By on 4.7.14 | 1:31PM

Someone really needs to confiscate Obama’s pen and phone.

According to Reuters, he plans to sign yet another executive order on Tuesday preventing “federal contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their compensation.”

In other words, federal workers have free rein to gripe and complain about their wages, and supervisors cannot do anything about it.

The order stems from Obama’s “equal pay for women” soap box, and a White House official claims they just want “transparency." The only way for women to know if they are being discriminated against is if they poke and prod, asking nosy questions to their coworkers about their paychecks:

“The executive order does not compel workers to discuss pay nor require employers to publish or otherwise disseminate pay data,” the official said.

It may not compel them, but just imagine: A friendly lunch conversation turns to money matters and a female employee inquires what her male counterpart makes. He says he isn’t comfortable discussing his pay and suddenly the woman assumes the worst.

Not to mention this “law” inhibits meritocracy. Should a man actually work harder and do his job better than his female counterpart, he still might not get a raise. Why? Because the employer couldn’t give the raise to him and not her without government retaliation.

And as if that wasn’t intrusive enough:

Obama also will direct the U.S. secretary of labor to create regulations that require federal contractors to submit to the government summary data on employee compensation including details on sex and race.

The Labor Department would use such data to encourage voluntary compliance with equal pay laws, the official said.

More unnecessary intrusion.

Of course I don’t believe a woman should make less than man simply because of her gender, but this goes too far. Discussing wages has always been and should always be uncouth. Griping hurts productivity.

If this is applied to the entire private sector, no man will be able to make more than a woman without claims that gender discrimination is at play. As I woman, I want to climb the ladder and get a raise because I earned it – not because as a woman I get preferential treatment and my coworker happens to be a “privileged” white male.

And if Obama is so concerned with equality for women in the workplace, he should explain why only 38.6 percent of the jobs created since he took office have gone to women.

Now is Obama the driving force behind this discrepancy? Of course not. But the executive measures he has taken to right the wrongs not only won’t work, but will create a plethora of new problems in the workplace.

We women don’t need Big Brother to come to our rescue.

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