So very burdensome

In annals of Things I Neglected in the Hail of All the Other Things, there is the move by Republicans and Trump to halt a rule requiring big companies to collect data on how they pay their employees. The ACLU in September:

Last night, 223 members of the House of Representatives voted against equal pay for our nation’s workers.

If asked, these members of Congress would almost certainly say that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work and that pay discrimination based on gender and race is a scourge that should be eliminated. Yet when the opportunity arose to support an equal pay initiative that is critical in achieving these goals, they voted no.

Believe what they do, not what they say.

The DeLauro-Frankel-Scott amendment that came to the House floor yesterday for a vote would have preserved federal funding for a new equal pay data collection initiative by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces our nation’s antidiscrimination laws. This initiative was developed during the Obama administration and updated an existing survey, called the EEO-1 report.

The original survey, which has been around for 50 years, requires large employers to provide the EEOC and other federal entities with information about the race, gender, and ethnicity of their workforce by job category. The updated EEO-1 report would have required these employers to also provide information about what they pay their employees.

The EEOC equal pay data collection was developed after years of study and two rounds of public comments, and it would have taken effect in March 2018. It is an essential tool in our fight against pay discrimination because it would have lifted the cloak of secrecy that shrouds pay decisions in this country.

But but but then it would be harder for companies to go on paying people less on the grounds that they’re not white men.

While women’s rights and civil rights advocates have found their arguments to be wholly self-serving and unconvincing, members of Congress and senior officials in the White House were, unfortunately, more easily swayed.

Indeed, in July, House Republicans adopted an amendment that cut off federal funding to implement the program. In August, the Trump administration halted the data collection altogether. Although the administration ordered an ill-defined “review” of the program and suggested that the EEOC should resubmit a revised data collection package, there are deep suspicions about the administration’s true commitment to working with the EEOC to ensure the implementation of a similar initiative.

Danielle Paquette at the Post in October:

A coalition of more than 90 civil rights groups is preparing to challenge the Trump administration’s decision to halt an Obama-era initiative aimed at fighting employer discrimination against women and minorities.

Emily Martin, general counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, said she and attorneys at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law have requested copies of emails, voice mails and other communications among the federal officials who opted in August to freeze a rule that would have required companies to file data broken down by race, ethnicity and gender on what they pay workers.

The rule compelling companies to submit additional information about employees and wages to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was finalized in September 2016 and would have taken effect next year.

Would have, had a reasonable adult human won the presidential election last year, but alas it was not to be.

After Trump launched his deregulation agenda, Neomi Rao, who heads the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, stayed the rule, saying in an Aug. 29 letter to the new acting head of the EEOC that the requirement was unnecessarily burdensome and lacked “practical utility.”

Victoria Lipnic, whom Trump appointed in January as acting chair of the EEOC, publicly expressed concerns in April about the burden the rule could put on businesses. (Neither Rao nor Lipnic responded to requests for comment.)

Ivanka Trump, meanwhile, supported the administration’s decision to halt the rule. The first daughter and adviser to the president has positioned herself a champion for women, advocating policies that support female breadwinners.

“Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results,” she said in an August 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.”

I did comment on Princess Ivanka’s ludicrous self-serving “statement” at the time:

“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 the first daughter, who recently published a book called ‘Women Who Work’ and markets a clothing and accessories line to working women.

How the hell does she know? Who is she to make that claim? What is the source of her expertise?

Activists who focus on pay equality have blasted this decision, with the executive director of Make It Work, a nonprofit aimed at improving women’s economic lives, calling it “a blatant attack on women.”

“To suspend a crucial Obama-era initiative aimed at increasing pay transparency and reducing the gender and racial pay gap is an unacceptable and deliberate attack on women in the workplace, especially black and Hispanic women who are currently paid only 63 cents and 54 cents to the dollar white men are paid, respectively,” said Tracy Sturdivant, who cofounded the Make It Work campaign.

But Ivanka Trump knows better because…what?

Oh wait, I know – it’s because she’s an employer and a purchaser. She doesn’t want to pay her employees more and she doesn’t want to pay more for the merch she sells. It’s not that she actually thinks it wouldn’t work; she’s lying just like Daddy about that – it’s that she thinks it will cost her money.

So far I don’t see any reason to change my mind about that.

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