In the eight years that it was President of the United States, former President Barrack Obama signed 276 Executive Orders. This study gives a view on the sensible exercise of the executive power by the former president Barrack Obama in two executive orders.
Disclosure of compensation details Non-Retaliation
Executive Order 13665 was signed on 8 April 2014 by Barrack Obama to support economics and the federal government’s procurement performance (Obama, 2014). The executive order was “promulgated according to Shilling (2015) by banning federal contractors from retaliating against workers for their reparations.” The executive order intended to promote civil rights by ruling out discriminatory practices in federal contract compensation. The executive order offered platforms to discuss compensation among the employees allowing for efficiency in market prices in Federal contracting. The executive order sought to ensure regulation of companies involved in federal contracting on the treatment of employees who request information on their compensation.
The non-retaliation for disclosure of payment information executive order is a reasonable exercise of power because the order respected the separation of authority between the executive and Congress and respected the rule of law. The executive order was also aimed at appropriate and beneficial services and not for the president’s gain further depicting it was not an abuse of power. The motives for executive order are also clear and offered benefits to many people while improving the efficiency of doing business with the federal government.
Minimum wage for contractors
Executive order number 13658 signed on February 12, 2014, by former president Barrack Obama aimed at increasing the minimum wage for federal contract workers from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour (Shear, 2016). The reasons provided for the increase include increased morale and productivity of the employees, reducing the turnover rate, reduced supervisory costs, and increased quality improving economy and efficiency in procurement by the government (Obama, 2014). The order sought to alleviate poverty for contract workers in the United States. The executive order also aimed at annual increases in the minimum wage to reflect the increase in consumer price index. The executive order provided guidelines on the minimum wage applicable to tipped workers, sets deduction limits from the minimum wage and gives minimum standards on frequency of wage payment (Sweeney, 2015).
The executive order on raising the minimum wage for contractors was a misuse of executive power. The president did not have the constitutional mandate to change the minimum wage unilaterally and would require Congress to pass a bill to effect a rise in minimum wage. Congress did not have support for raising the minimum wage due to concerns raised by contractors on the affordability of increasing minimum wages and the negative impact it would have on the economy. The executive order on minimum wage does not consider the views of these people hence it represents an abuse of executive power. Not exploring all the avenues including collaboration with Congress to pass the law on minimum wage also makes the executive order an abuse of power.
- Obama, B. (2014). Executive Order–Minimum wage for contractors. downloaded 22/9/2017 from https://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/eo13658/fr-factsheet.htm.
- Obama, B. (2014). Executive Order–Non-retaliation for disclosure of compensation information. downloaded 22/9/2017 from http://www. whitehouse. gov/the-press-office/2014/04/08/executive-order-nonretaliation-disclosure-compensation-information.
- Shear, M. (August 13, 2016). Reshaping Lives, Without Congress. New York Times.
- Shilling, D. (2015). The complete guide to human resources and the law. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.
- Sweeney, N. J. (2015). Construction law update. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business.
- July 24, 2021