Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

At the Republican National Convention in 2016, Ivanka Trump spoke about strides her father's administration would take towards furthering women's equality in the workplace.

At the Republican National Convention in 2016, Ivanka Trump spoke about strides her father's administration would take toward furthering women's equality in the workplace. (Photo: ABC News/Flickr/cc)

Ivanka Defends Trump Administration's "All-Out Attack on Equal Pay"

Civil rights and women's groups decry "shameful" decision to nix rule to track wage discrimination

Julia Conley

Civil rights groups spoke out on Wednesday about the Trump administration's decision to scrap a rule aimed at preventing pay discrimination.

President Obama introduced a directive that would have gone into effect early next year, requiring businesses with 100 or more employees to track wages for workers of various genders, race, and ethnicities and report the data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In defending their decision, the Trump administration claimed the rule would put unrealistic expectations on large employers.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights called the White House's decision "shameful."

The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) said the move represented "a clear message to employers: if you want to ignore pay inequities and sweep them under the rug, this Administration has your back." 

"This is not a technical tweak as they would have you believe. Make no mistake—it's an all-out attack on equal pay."—Fatima Goss Graves, National Women's Law Center

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Neomi Rao of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs called the rule "enormously burdensome" and said, "We don't believe it would actually help us gather information about wage and employment discrimination."

Fatima Goss Graves of the NWLC rejected Rao's attempt to portray the White House's decision as a minor change to its own attempts to gather information about pay gaps:

We see through the Trump Administration's call to halt the equal pay rule that requires employers to collect and submit pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity to the government. This is not a technical tweak as they would have you believe. Make no mistake—it's an all-out attack on equal pay.

The EEOC has made clear why hard data on wage discrepancies is needed to combat pay gaps.

Without the measure, "we'd learn about a pay-discrimination problem because someone saw a piece of paper left on a copy machine or someone was complaining about their salary to co-workers," said chairwoman Jenny Yang when the rules were drafted by the Obama administration.

Ivanka Trump, who serves as an advisor in the White House and has been cast by many in the media as a moderating force in the Trump administration with a special interest in clearing the way for pay equality for women, supported the decision to scrap the rule.

"Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results," said Trump.

According to a report in The Hill, Trump also oversaw an internal review of the White House Council on Women and Girls that resulted in the office's closure in June.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Tax Billionaire Wealth and Pandemic Profits, Says Oxfam, to End 'Inequality That Literally Kills'

"The super-rich have rigged the system with impunity for decades and they are now reaping the benefits," says Oxfam International's executive director.

Jon Queally ·


UN Agency Condemns 'Homophobic and Racist' Monkeypox Reporting

"Stigma hurts everyone," says one ranking UNAIDS official. "Shared science and social solidarity help everyone."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Tax the Rich,' Say Millionaire Activists Protesting at Davos Amid Record Wealth, Inequality

"As someone who has enjoyed the benefits of wealth my whole life I know how skewed our economy is and I cannot continue to sit back and wait for someone, somewhere, to do something," said one demonstrator.

Brett Wilkins ·


Rights Group Urges Civilian Safeguards as Biden Sends Troops Back to Somalia

"A culture of impunity for civilian loss breeds resentment and mistrust among the population and undermines efforts to build a more rights-respecting state," Human Rights Watch's regional director asserted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Australian Progressives Hail 'Greenslide' Amid Big Left Wins and Morrison's Ouster

"People have backed the Greens in record numbers and delivered a massive mandate for action on climate and inequality," said party leader Adam Bandt.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo