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Executive Order Prohibits Pay ‘Gag Order' Among Contractors


Cheryl Behymer was quoted in an article on about the executive order President Barack Obama signed on April 8, 2014, prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation.

The executive order notes that “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.”

Cheryl told SHRM Online she thought the president’s executive order was unnecessary, noting that the National Labor Relations Board already takes the position that discussion of wages is protected concerted activity. She said a balance should be struck between the interests of employees to discuss their own pay versus an employers’ right to protect its legitimate business interest of not disclosing its pay structure to competitors.

“There are so many legitimate factors that can apply to pay that to have a cookie-cutter approach is counterproductive,” she remarked.


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