Lawmakers request new GAO gender pay study

Lawmakers request new GAO gender pay study
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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 DeLauroOn The Money: Deficit spikes 25 percent through January | Mnuchin declines to say why Trump pulled Treasury nominee who oversaw Roger Stone case | Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts USDA takes heat as Democrats seek probe into trade aid MORE (D-Conn.), Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayHow to downsize the federal education role — without attracting attention Senate Dems blast Barr for 'clear violation' of duty in Stone case, urge him to resign Democratic senators ask FDA to ban device used to shock disabled students MORE (D-Wash.), Rep. Katherine ClarkKatherine Marlea ClarkJeffries: Trump budget is a 'declaration of war on the American dream' Senate acquits Trump, ending impeachment saga Sanders, Warren battle for progressive endorsements MORE (D-Mass.) and Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthJoe Walsh ends GOP primary challenge to Trump Illinois senators meet with Amtrak CEO over ,000 price tag for wheelchair users Democrats ask Amtrak to review policies after wheelchair users quoted K ticket price 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.

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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.