Days after issuing a bland statement supporting women’s equality, the Trump administration halted a key equal pay initiative on Tuesday put in place by the Obama administration.
The scrapped provision would have required employers to report aggregate information on how much they pay workers ― broken down by gender, race and ethnicity ― and would have been a critical first step in figuring out the scope of the pay gap at different companies.
Instead, the Office of Management and Budget said in a memo this week that it was halting implementation so it could review the provision, citing concerns about paperwork and privacy.
Ivanka Trump, who speaks frequently about the importance of equal pay for women and who promised last summer that her father feels similarly, issued a statement supporting the move.
“Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results,” Trump said on Tuesday. “We look forward to continuing to work with [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission], [the Office of Management and Budget], Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.”
She offered no further explanation for the administration’s action or her endorsement of it.
Women’s groups universally decried the move.
“This is not a technical tweak as they would have you believe. Make no mistake— it’s an all-out attack on equal pay,” said Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center in a statement on Tuesday. “Today’s action sends a clear message to employers,” Graves added. “If you want to ignore pay inequities and sweep them under the rug, this Administration has your back.”
They also took aim at the president’s eldest daughter for betraying her purported commitment to working women.
“For somebody who has long held herself out as a champion for women and for gender equality, it’s really disappointing,” Vicki Shabo, vice president for workplace policy and strategy at the National Partnership for Women and Families, told HuffPost on Wednesday.
“[This] spits in the eye of gender equality and in the eyes of women and people of color who are so often paid less and do not know.”
[This] spits in the eye of gender equality and in the eyes of women and people of color who are so often paid less and do not know. Vicki Shabo, National Partnership for Women and Families