President Barack Obama has named today “Equal Pay Day”, as part of the administration’s ongoing effort to address the gender wage gap. Specifically, the president will sign an executive order to stop federal contractors from penalizing employees who talk about their pay, and is calling on the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a measure that would expand the legal protections of the federal Equal Pay Act.
The federal legislation at hand is not the same as the Texas-level Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that was passed by the legislature last year and summarily vetoed by Governor Rick Perry, thus enabling the long-running debate over equal pay in this year’s gubernatorial campaign. Nonetheless, Obama’s decision to re-up the issue means that we can expect the Texas debate to continue.
On Friday we published a thoughtful piece by Bethany Albertson, an assistant professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, who has a different take on Texas’s equal pay debate. Our thanks to her for weighing in, and to the many readers who have offered substantive comments on this issue, as on many others.