An Obama-era rule required employers to collect pay data
The Trump administration is issuing a stay and review of that rule
The Trump administration has announced that it is ending an Obama-era rule on gender gap wage data collection, a move supported by Ivanka Trump.
In a memo sent earlier this week, the Office of Management and Budget informed the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that it was initiating a review and immediate stay of a form that required businesses with over 100 employees to collect pay data by gender, race and ethnicity.
Though Trump’s initial inclination was to keep the data collection going, she was convinced by arguments from those opposing the rule, a White House official told CNN. Those against the rule advocated that it was ineffective and burdensome to employers.
“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 in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with EEOC, OMB, Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.”
Trump has made women’s economic empowerment a key initiative for her White House portfolio as an assistant to the President. Her portfolio also includes paid family leave, a childcare tax credit, workforce development, ending human trafficking and promoting education for science, technology, engineering and math. She traveled to Missouri Wednesday as President Donald Trump kicked off his push for tax reform.
Tax reform, the President said: “includes helping parents afford childcare and the cost of raising a family. That’s so important to Ivanka Trump. Very, very important to everybody in this room, but so important to my daughter.”
“I’m very proud of Ivanka,” he said.
The gender pay gap is a well-documented problem: Women make up almost half the US workforce, but earn 82% of the full-time weekly paycheck of a man, per the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s annual report. Black women earn 63% and Latina women earn 57% of the full-time weekly pay of a white man, according to the report.
On Equal Pay Day earlier this year, Ivanka Trump posted those statistics on social media.
“Today, on #EqualPayDay, we are reminded that women deserve equal pay for equal work. Closing the gender pay gap is critical to the economic empowerment of American women, and it is the responsibility of all Americans to come together in pursuit of equal pay. I am proud to work towards this goal alongside my father and in support of the administration’s commitment to women and families,” she captioned an Instagram post.
The Obama administration initiated the data collection action in January 2016, a move recommended by the administration’s Equal Pay Tax Force.
This step would “help focus public enforcement of our equal pay laws and provide better insight into discriminatory pay practices across industries and occupations,” a White House fact sheet on the action said at the time.
Acting EEOC chairwoman Victoria Lipnic said in a statement Tuesday that the EEOC “remains committed to strong enforcement of our federal equal pay laws,” and the decision “will not alter EEOC’s enforcement efforts.”
She added: “I do hope that this decision will prompt a discussion of other more effective solutions to encourage employers to review their compensation practices to ensure equal pay and close the wage gap. I stand ready to work with Congress, federal agencies, and all stakeholders to achieve that goal.”