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Ivanka Trump is helping the White House torpedo Obama-era equal pay rules

Ivanka Trump is helping the White House torpedo Obama-era equal pay rules
[Photo: Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian]

When Ivanka Trump took the stage at the Republican National Convention, she called her father, Donald Trump, a supporter of equal pay for women and said he would “fight for equal pay for equal work.” She also vowed to “fight for this, too, right alongside him.” But it turns out that doesn’t include actually supporting equal pay for women–at least as long as President Obama had anything to do with it.

Earlier this week, the Office of Management and Budget announced that it was not going to start collecting data under Obama-era rules that would have required companies with more than 100 employees to document how much they pay their workers, broken down by gender, race, and ethnicity. The program could have provided some hard data on pay discrimination in the hopes of combating it. Now its implementation has been halted–and that decision has Ivanka Trump’s blessing, as Newsweek reports.

“Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results,” Ivanka said in a statement per the Wall Street Journal. “We look forward to continuing to work with EEOC, [the Office of Management and Budget], Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap,” she added.

Equal rights advocates are calling foul. “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. “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.”

Pay discrimination is something that affects women across careers and across the nation: 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–Hispanic women earn 54 cents on the dollar, while black women make 63 cents.

Since her father took office, Trump has tried to position herself as an advocate for women in the workplace. In May, she released a leadership book, Women Who Work, which our Anjali Khosla said was sprinkled with “crumbs of Ivanka’s out-of-touchness.”ML