President to sign executive orders on equal pay - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

President to sign executive orders on equal pay

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Tuesday is equal pay day. According to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, April 8th symbolizes how far into 2014 women must work to earn what men already earned in 2013.

Tuesday, President Barack Obama will sign two executive orders to help close the wage gap for women.

The first will prohibit federal contractors from taking action against employees who openly discuss their wages.

The second order will require them to provide worker compensation data organized by race and gender.

"You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it's an embarrassment," said President Barack Obama during his State of the Union Address.

The orders apply only to federal contracting and will give female workers a means to discover violations of fair pay laws.

The YWCA says in Indiana women make 73 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Women say they could certainly use the extra quarter. "It makes me feel worth less than the man does. Makes me looked down upon," says working mom, Amanda Cool.

Cool comes to the YWCA to get help with things like budgeting. She says making the same salary as a man to do the same job, would make a huge impact when taking care of her three children.

"It would be a boost in my esteem. It would help so much with food, housing, daycare, gas, Everything," says Cool.

Linda Baechle is the CEO of the YWCA of North Central Indiana. She says, "Women are working just as hard as men in the workforce and deserve to have paycheck fairness."

Baechle works with many women who are victims of abuse. She says they need to feel secure that they can afford to take care of their family before leaving their abusive relationships.

Baechle says the wage gap makes a big impact over time, "Women lose a half a million dollars over their professional career because of the pay inequity."

Baechle says it's not just women who would benefit from closing the wage gap. She says it would greatly help stimulate the economy because women would take that money and invest it in their families.

The YWCA says the executive orders the President is expected to sign Tuesday are encouraging, but another piece of legislation is really needed; the Paycheck Fairness Act. That's expected to close loop holes in the decades-old Equal Pay Bill.

But Baechle says what's most important is that women need to stand up together on this issue and come forward.

There will be a couple events locally for Equal Pay Day. There will be a panel discussion Tuesday at Bonefish Grill at noon.

There will also be a rally at the St. Joseph County courthouse at 5pm. Women are encouraged to wear red.

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