Serious question about the equal pay legislation

Back in 2007, the Supreme Court decided Ledbetter v. Goodyear (incorrectly, in my opinion); almost exactly two years later, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law.  According to the National Women’s Law Center, the Act

The Act reinstates prior law and makes clear that pay discrimination claims on the basis of sex, race, national origin, age, religion and disability “accrue” whenever an employee receives a discriminatory paycheck, as well as when a discriminatory pay decision or practice is adopted, when a person becomes subject to the decision or practice, or when a person is otherwise affected by the decision or practice.

The Act does not repeal any prior equal pay legislation, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At this point, we aren’t suffering for any lack of laws regarding equal pay; we are suffering from a variety of factors that result in women earning less money than men (e.g. choosing different fields, working shorter hours, working in less physically strenuous jobs).

Yet the Obama Administration now wants another law executive order regarding equal pay. (Hat tip.)

Can someone who is familiar with employment law explain to me what the new Executive Order is intended to do that current legislation does not accomplish, and why anyone would think that it it would achieve its intended goal?

Can someone also explain how the Ledbetter Act changed the “pay gap,” and if one piece of legislation had no effect on it, why this particular executive order would be different?


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