The initiative, which was unveiled by Barack Obama in January 2016, would have required employers to collect data on how much they pay their workers, broken down by gender, race and ethnicity.
The administration confirmed this week it would halt the implementation of the rule – with the backing of Trump, a White House adviser who has hosted numerous roundtables on women’s economic issues.
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An administration official told the Wall Street Journal that the Obama policy was “enormously burdensome”.
“We don’t believe it would actually help us gather information about wage and employment discrimination,” said Neomi Rao, an administrator from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
In a memo released on Tuesday, Rao cited concerns over privacy and confidentiality issues, as well as with the paperwork associated with the data collection.
Under Obama’s action, companies with more than 100 workers would have begun reporting more detailed information to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2018. Some of the requirements were set to kick in next month. The former president had signed the executive order on the anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, an equal pay law Obama signed in 2009 that gave employees up to 180 days to file lawsuits after a discriminatory paycheck.Women’s groups swiftly criticized the reversal, with some taking aim at Trump given her professed support for equal pay.
“Based on what we’ve seen so far, there’s nothing shocking about Ivanka, self-styled champion for women, turning her back on women when it suits her or her father,” said Alexandra De Luca, the press secretary for Emily’s List, a Democratic group that works to elect pro-choice women to public office.
“She’s as much to blame for the relentless anti-woman agenda pushed by this administration as anyone in the White House.”
Fatima Goss Graves, the president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, said the administration’s move was “an all-out attack on equal pay”.“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,” Graves said in a statement.
The group also called out Trump on Twitter, resurrecting a tweet on Equal Pay Day in April in which the president’s daughter said “women deserve equal pay for equal work”.
Trump, who released a book this year titled Women Who Work, has vowed to advance women’s issues in the White House but thus far shown little progress. She is reportedly looking to advance a child tax credit in the upcoming debate over tax reform in Congress, but has been criticized by progressive groups for not going far enough in her proposals to date.
Trump joined her father at a speech on tax reform in Missouri on Wednesday, in which the president said he hoped a tax reform package would address the costs of childcare.
“That’s so important to Ivanka Trump,” he said. “So important to my daughter, it’s one of her very big beliefs.”