Days after proclaiming August 26th as "Women’s Equality Day" Donald Trump halted a key equal pay initiative put in place by the Obama administration.
The now discarded provision would have required employers to report how much they pay workers broken down by gender, race and ethnicity as a resource to help figure out the scope of the pay gap at different companies.
The data accrued by the provision would have made it easier for federal regulators to spot patterns of discrimination.
When asked for an explanation for the provisions removal the Office of Management and Budget released a statement that it was halting implementation so it could review the provision, citing concerns about "paperwork and privacy".
On average, women in the U.S. are paid 80 cents for every dollar men earn, according to federal data.
The pay gap for women of color is even worse as black women earn only 63 cents and Hispanic women earn 54 cents on the dollar.
Even when researchers analyze the data and account for differences in education and time spent in the labor force, the wage gap persists.
Companies with more than 100 workers were set to receive a new form to report the data in September and start providing more detailed information to the EEOC in 2018 and most employers were preparing to file this data.
But now the provision has been halted from going into effect as a result of an orchestrated effort by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the federal contractors business lobby and anti-worker and anti-regulatory senators on the Hill.
Women’s groups universally decried the move as an all-out attack on equal pay.
Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, said in a statement on Tuesday...
“Today’s action sends a clear message to employers. If you want to ignore pay inequities and sweep them under the rug, this Administration has your back.”
Vicki Shabo, vice president for workplace policy and strategy at the National Partnership for Women and Families exclaimed...
"[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."
It is hardly a surprise that a White House which has been openly hostile to women’s rights such as rolling back provisions on contraception and reinstating harsh restrictions on women’s health around the world would make such a move.