The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' (OFFCP) final rules prohibiting pay secrecy went into effect today. The new rules implement President Obama’s 2014 Executive Order 13665 that prohibits federal contractors from taking any adverse action against employees or job applicants because they inquire about, discuss, or disclose the compensation or benefits of themselves, co-workers, or applicants. The rule does not, however, leave federal contractors defenseless. It includes both general and specific defense provisions designed to guard against confidentiality breaches. For example, the rule does not protect the disclosure of other’s pay information that is improperly obtained as part of the disclosing employee’s essential job function. All federal contractors who, on or after January 11, 2016, enter into or modify federal contracts that exceed $10,000 in value must comply with the new rule including its mandate that contractors disseminate to employees and applicants the nondiscrimination provision prescribed by the Director of the OFFCP. To ensure compliance with this new rule or for questions concerning it, contact us.