Lawmakers request new GAO gender pay study

Lawmakers request new GAO gender pay study
© iStock

Four members of Congress have requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct a new review of gender pay inequity in the federal workforce, including the implications of race and ethnicity on pay.

"It has been nearly a decade since GAO last addressed these critical issues," Rep. Rosa DeLauroRosa Luisa DeLauroGovernment shelters now housing nearly 15K migrant children A new Congress, time for a new focus on public education Overnight Health Care: US health-care spending hit .5 trillion in 2017 | White House sought 0M more to house migrant children | ObamaCare enrollment down 10 percent from last year MORE (D-Conn.), Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayVA senior adviser forced out amid concerns that he was 'getting paid to sit on his couch': report The Year Ahead: Drug pricing efforts to test bipartisanship Overnight Health Care: Manchin pitched Trump on reviving bipartisan ObamaCare fix | 4 in 10 don’t plan to get flu shots | Survey finds more than a quarter have pre-existing conditions MORE (D-Wash.), Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkHispanic Caucus picks Castro as its next chair Progressive rep says she’s ‘very disappointed' by Barbara Lee’s loss in bid for Dem caucus chair Clark wins spot as Dem Caucus vice chair MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthOvernight Defense: Senate bucks Trump with Yemen war vote, resolution calling crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi killing | House briefing on Saudi Arabia fails to move needle | Inhofe casts doubt on Space Force Record number of female veterans to serve in next Congress Duckworth marks her 'Alive Day' in Veterans Day post MORE (D-Ill.) wrote in a letter to GAO.

The last GAO study, conducted in 2009, found an 11 percent pay gap between men and women in 2007.

ADVERTISEMENT

Though that gap was smaller than the national average, GAO could not explain the 7 percent wage differential even after accounting for a slew of factors such as occupation, geography, education and management level, raising the possibility of unequal pay for equal work.

The letter cited an analysis from The Hill which found that, based on the unexplained portion of the gap, female federal workers that year may have been underpaid as much as $4,942 relative to men for the same work. 

"This is a significant loss in pay that hinders the federal government's ability to recruit and retain talented individuals who want to contribute their skills to serve and help solve the major economic, social and security problems of the 21st century," the letter said.

The group also asked GAO to examine how effective federal efforts to enforce anti-pay discrimination laws have been, and how gender and race affect the promotion and hiring rates in the government.