On Tuesday, Ivanka Trump joined the many American women calling to close the wage gap for Equal Pay Day — but for some, the activism rang hollow, considering that her father, President Donald Trump, just repealed crucial workplace equity legislation just last week. If Ivanka truly believes that "women deserve equal pay for equal work" and that "we must work to close the gender pay gap," as she tweeted on Tuesday, she could have started by using her role as her father's advisor to keep him from repealing the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act.
The law was ushered in by President Obama during his second term, and it laid out clear rules for any companies with federal contracts. Two of the rules that were part of the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act had a big impact on women in the workplace: the order forced employers to have paycheck transparency and banned forced arbitration clauses for sexual harassment, sexual assault, or discrimination claims, according to NBC. Romper has reached out to the White House for comment, but did not hear back immediately.
Those two rules are important in several ways. Forcing employers to have paycheck transparency ensured that employers laid out exactly what employees were earning, how many hours they worked, and why there were any deductions on their pay slips. Paycheck transparency is a small but important step towards ending the wage gap, since it allows women to see clearly if they are receiving equal pay for equal work.
Ending forced arbitration clauses in contracts was also a big win for women who faced sexual harassment at work. Arbitration clauses essentially force employees to duke out sexual harassment claims privately, which can hide sexual harassment or assault incidents and intimidate victims, according to some activists. As Maya Raghu, the director of Workplace Equality at the National Women's Law Center, told NBC recently, "[Arbitrations] can silence victims. They may feel afraid of coming forward because they might think they are the only one, or fear retaliation."
On Instagram on Tuesday, however, Ivanka seemed to ignore that the president had rolled back important protections for women in the workplace. Posting an infographic explaining the wage gap, she wrote:
Today, on #EqualPayDay, we are reminded that women deserve equal pay for equal work. Closing the gender pay gap is critical to the economic empowerment of American women, and it is the responsibility of all Americans to come together in pursuit of equal pay. I am proud to work towards this goal alongside my father and in support of the administration’s commitment to women and families.
By repealing the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Act, President Trump essentially pushed back critical women's workplace rights in the United States — and if Ivanka wants to win over the women she claims to support, she needs to stand up for them in the White House, not just on social media.