WASHINGTON - Pressing his pay-equity crusade, President Barack Obama has signed executive orders making it easier for employees of federal contractors to get information about wages.
The actions aim to reduce gender gaps in compensation that continue to favor men.
Obama is sharply criticizing Republicans, saying they are obstacles to workplace fairness.
He signed an executive order that prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their pay.
He also directed the Labor Department to issue rules requiring federal contractors to provide aggregate compensation data by race and gender.
These actions were part of a concerted election-year effort with congressional Democrats to draw attention to women's pay.
The Senate began debating legislation Tuesday that would make it easier for workers to sue companies for paying women less because of their gender.