Former President Obama intended to fight pay discrimination with a rule requiring businesses to track how much they pay different groups of workers. You know the next part, right? Of course you do. Donald Trump isÂ blocking the rule from going into effectÂ as scheduled next spring because itâ€™s just too hard for businesses to report how much they pay their workers.
â€śItâ€™s enormously burdensome,â€ť said Neomi Rao, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which analyzes the cost of federal rules and regulations. â€śWe donâ€™t believe it would actually help us gather information about wage and employment discrimination.”
Which part of that do you think is more importantâ€”that itâ€™s burdensome or that they donâ€™t believe it would help gather information? Or the unstated third reason that Donald Trump and his underlings donâ€™t want to hold businesses accountable for discrimination anyway. This burden, by the way, amounts to putting extra information on a form that businesses already fill out. That information about how much women vs. men are paid, or workers of color vs. white workers seems like it would be helpful to uncovering discrimination. The Obama administration certainly thought so:
â€śWeâ€™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,â€ť leading others to realize they were being underpaid, said Jenny Yang, who was chairwoman of the EEOC when the rules were drafted, at NYU School of Lawâ€™s Annual Conference on Labor in June.
â€śHaving pay data in summary form will also help us identify patterns that may warrant further investigation,â€ť Ms. Yang said.
Self-proclaimed equal pay champion Ivanka Trump is right on board with the messaging against this effort to promote equal pay, by the way.
This blog was originally published at DailyKos Labor on August 30, 2017. Reprinted with permission.
About the Author: Laura ClawsonÂ is labor editor at Daily Kos.