Landrieu signs executive order to address equal pay for women

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued an executive order today aimed at bringing the City of New Orleans closer to equal pay for women, according to the mayor's office.

Landrieu was joined today by state lawmakers, city council members and pay equity advocates.

The executive order bans questions about salary history during the application and interview processes for city positions and requests that the Civil Service Commission conduct a pay disparity study among city employees.

The executive order is part of a larger equal pay strategy the mayor's office is developing.

“It is unacceptable that, on average, women make just 79% of what men make. We need equal pay for equal work,” said Landrieu. “The income disparity affects a woman’s ability to buy a home, pay student loans and support her family. As we move forward with anti-poverty measures and work to ensure everyone has access to a living wage, we must make the gender wage gap a priority.”

According to a 2014 Tulane University study, the wage gap between male and female full-time employees among all employers in Orleans Parish is 21 percent.

Inquiries about salary history during the application and interview processes have been shown to perpetuate wage disparities for women. Additionally, because women historically make less than men, using salary history as a base line for future pay negatively impacts women, Landrieu said.

The pay disparity study requested from the Civil Service Commission will include actual wages paid with a breakdown of gender, classification, base pay, longevity, merit, special assignment, overtime, and any other pay above the base rate for the position as well as an estimate of the cost to close the wage gap.

The Mayor was also joined today by local women’s rights leaders and advocates working to advance issues facing women across the state.