shutterstock_267261659By Annette Tyman and Meredith Bailey

The White House announced a new Equal Pay Pledge for private sector companies as part of yesterday’s “United State of Women Summit” in Washington, D.C.  The Pledge is one of several initiatives announced at the Summit intended to tackle “gender-based discrimination” in the workplace.

By signing the voluntary Pledge, companies promise to conduct an annual gender pay analysis and reassess their hiring and promotion processes to ensure “wage fairness for all workers.”  In a statement, the White House said that the Pledge highlights “the critical role that businesses must play in reducing the national gender pay gap.”

The Equal Pay Pledge builds on the Obama administration’s focus on legislation and policies designed to promote fair pay.  The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act–which extended the limitations period for pay discrimination claims–was the first major bill President Obama signed into law in January 2009. Since then, the White House has championed Federal and state initiatives that further gender equality in the workplace, including equal pay and paid leave.

The Pledge highlights that equitable pay is more than a compliance issue — Companies must ensure fair pay practices to maintain a competitive advantage.

Seyfarth Shaw’s Pay Equity Group (PEG) has over 20 years’ experience counseling employers on best practices related to pay equity audits and fair pay analyses, such as those intended by yesterday’s Equal Pay Pledge.  If you have questions about the Equal Pay Pledge or other pay equity questions, please contact a member of Seyfarth’s PEG: