The Obama administration on Friday issued the final rule prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against employees who openly discuss compensation on the job.


The prevalence of pay secrecy in the workplace, particularly in the private sector, is one of the “possible contributing factors to the enduring pay gap” between men and women, the final rule stated. A 2014 Institute for Women’s Policy Research study found that 62 percent of women and 60 percent of men working in the private sector “reported that discussion of wage and salary information is discouraged or prohibited, compared to only 18 percent of women and 11 percent of men working in the public sector,” said the rule, published in Friday’s Federal Register .