Gov Nixon signs executive order to promote gender pay equity

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JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Jay Nixon signed executive order 15-09 Friday at the Women’s Foundation annual luncheon in Kansas City.

Nixon signed the order to promote gender pay equity in the workplace. It directs state agencies to follow the guidelines set by the Women’s Foundation and The University of Missouri Institute of Public Policy.

The preliminary guidelines requested that public and private entities determine whether a wage gap exists within their organization. They then ask for each organization to re-evaluate their compensation system to promote equal pay for equal work.

“This Executive Order will help Missouri set an example of best business practices to ensure the gender gap is recognized and addressed," Ryan Burns, Director of Communications for the Missouri Office of Administration, said. "This is a positive step forward and we applaud the Governor for taking action.”

According to a study by the MU Institute of Public Policy, a wage gap still persists in Missouri even though the state is one of 46 with equal pay laws.

The survey concluded that between 2008 and 2012, full-time, year-round female workers in Missouri earned 71 percent of men’s earnings.

Although this order will affect all state agencies, one state agency director said it might impact larger agencies more.

“This particular issue is probably going to have more of an impact on agencies with larger staffs," James Khlar, the Director of the Ethics Commission, said. “There may have to be discussion between agencies and legislators to complete the process.”

The Women's Foundation and MU will publish a final report on pay equity best practices guidelines in April.