President Obama is expected to sign two executive orders that will impose additional compliance obligations on federal government contractors. The first order will reportedly bar federal contractors from retaliating against employees for discussing pay issues with co-workers. The President is also expected to sign a second executive order directing the Department of Labor to promulgate rules requiring federal government contractors to provide compensation data based upon the race and sex of their employees. These requirements (applicable to all employers) are also contained in bills currently pending in Congress.
These executive orders continue a trend by the administration to place new requirements on the federal contracting community similar to pending federal legislation. In February, for example, President Obama issued an Executive Order to increase the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors and subcontractors to $10.10 an hour after a bill that would have imposed such a requirement on all employers failed to pass Congress.