the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Executive Order -- Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information


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By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, 40 U.S.C. 101 et seq., and in order to take further steps to promote economy and efficiency in Federal Government procurement, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. This order is designed to promote economy and efficiency in Federal Government procurement. It is the policy of the executive branch to enforce vigorously the civil rights laws of the United States, including those laws that prohibit discriminatory practices with respect to compensation. Federal contractors that employ such practices are subject to enforcement action, increasing the risk of disruption, delay, and increased expense in Federal contracting. Compensation discrimination also can lead to labor disputes that are burdensome and costly.

When employees are prohibited from inquiring about, disclosing, or discussing their compensation with fellow workers, compensation discrimination is much more difficult to discover and remediate, and more likely to persist. Such prohibitions (either express or tacit) also restrict the amount of information available to participants in the Federal contracting labor pool, which tends to diminish market efficiency and decrease the likelihood that the most qualified and productive workers are hired at the market efficient price. Ensuring that employees of Federal contractors may discuss their compensation without fear of adverse action will enhance the ability of Federal contractors and their employees to detect and remediate unlawful discriminatory practices, which will contribute to a more efficient market in Federal contracting.

Sec. 2. Amending Executive Order 11246. Section 202 of Executive Order 11246 of September 24, 1965, as amended, is hereby further amended as follows:

(a) Paragraphs (3) through (7) are redesignated as paragraphs (4) through (8).

(b) A new paragraph (3) is added to read as follows:

"The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because such employee or applicant has inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or applicant or another employee or applicant. This provision shall not apply to instances in which an employee who has access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of such employee's essential job functions discloses the compensation of such other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to such information, unless such disclosure is in response to a formal complaint or charge, in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or is consistent with the contractor's legal duty to furnish information."

Sec. 3. Regulations. Within 160 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of Labor shall propose regulations to implement the requirements of this order.

Sec. 4. Severability. If any provision of this order, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance, is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order and the application of the provisions of such to any person or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to limit the rights of an employee or applicant for employment provided under any provision of law.

It also shall not be construed to prevent a Federal contractor covered by this order from pursuing a defense, as long as the defense is not based on a rule, policy, practice, agreement, or other instrument that prohibits employees or applicants from discussing or disclosing their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, subject to paragraph (3) of section 202 of Executive Order 11246, as added by this order.

(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to a department, agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(c) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(d) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 6. Effective Date. This order shall become effective immediately, and shall apply to contracts entered into on or after the effective date of rules promulgated by the Department of Labor under section 3 of this order.