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On Sept. 10, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued its final rule prohibiting federal contractors and subcontractors from terminating or otherwise discriminating against employees who discuss their compensation with co-workers or job applicants. This rule implements the Obama administration’s Equal Pay initiative under Executive Order 13665 and will take effect on Jan. 11, 2016.

The final rule includes all federal contractors with contracts entered into or modified on or after the effective date of the rule that exceed $10,000 in value. The rule effectively prevents contractors and subcontractors from enforcing pay secrecy policies against current and prospective employees. Specifically, these contractors may not retaliate against employees or applicants who “inquire about, discuss, or disclose” information on their pay or the pay that other employees receive. However, there is an exception if an employee or applicant makes the disclosure based on information obtained while performing his or her essential job functions. If an employee or applicant believes that a contractor has violated this rule, he or she may file a complaint with the OFCCP.

To read the full text of the final rule, click here.

For additional information and guidance on compliance, click here.

To read frequently asked questions by employers and employees, click here.