The White House announced Tuesday that it will propose a new regulation to prevent federal agencies from taking a job applicant’s salary history into consideration in the hiring process. The Office of Personnel Management plans to issue the regulation, which arrives via an executive order that President Joe Biden signed last year aimed at improving pay equity for women and minorities.

“Banning the use of prior salary history can help break the cycle of past arbitrary and potentially discriminatory pay that can follow women and workers of color from job to job, entrenching gender and racial pay gaps over time,” the White House said in its announcement.

Vice President Kamala Harris led a virtual summit marking Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, which featured administration officials, CEOs, and athletes including current and former members of the U.S women’s national soccer team.

President Biden is also signing an executive order that directs the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council to consider boosting pay equity and transparency for federal contractors. That includes “limiting or prohibiting” federal contractors from seeking and considering information about job applicants and employees’ existing or past compensation in the hiring process.

The Department of Labor is issuing a new directive clarifying that federal contractors are expected to conduct an audit of their compensation practices each year.

“Conducting these pay equity audits helps address and prevent pay disparities based on gender, race, or ethnicity,” the White House said.

Why You Need to Know:
Considering the tumultuous economic times we’re in, this executive order is a major boon for minority federal workers who are one step closer to closing the gap between them and their privileged counterparts. Definitely good news from the Oval Office.