Women’s group: Obama equality orders based on ‘victim class’ mentality

A conservative-leaning women’s policy group on Monday blasted President Obama’s latest income equality push, saying a pair of planned executive actions are based on a false premise.

Obama is expected to detail the measures on wage transparency Tuesday, which marks “Equal Pay Day,” the name given to the point in the year at which an average woman’s pay catches up to what a man doing the same job made in the previous year.

But the Independent Women’s Forum disputes oft-cited statistics suggesting women are paid 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man at the same job. The forum argues the figure ignores key variables, including the number of hours worked, education and experience.

“Perpetuating the myth that women are a victim class harms women,” said Sabrina Schaeffer, the group’s executive director.

She called Equal Pay Day a “fictitious holiday” designed to “justify growing government in the name of protecting women.” 

The planned actions, aimed at firms that do business with the government, are the latest steps taken by the president to promote income equality without backing from the divided Congress.

Obama plans to sign an executive order to prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation. The White House official stressed that the order will neither compel workers to discuss their pay nor employers to reveal salaries.

“That’s already the law of the land,” Schaeffer said in panning the proposal.

The president will also direct Labor Secretary Tom Perez to draft new regulations requiring contractors to report summary pay information — including data on race and sex — to the agency, the official said.

Schaeffer said that proposal is likely a precursor to additional rules involving hiring at companies with federal contracts.

“One could see how data collection could quickly morph into additional regulations,” she said.