President Trump rolls back workplace protections for women

On March 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order revoking the Fair Pay and Safe Workspaces order, signed by former-President Barack Obama in 2014. The original order required companies bidding on contracts in excess of $500,000 to disclose labor violations, including those against protected groups such as women and LGBTQ workers.

wage growth

"Tuesday's 'Equal Pay Day' — which highlights the wage disparity between men and women — is the perfect time to draw more attention to the president's action, activists say," Mary Emily O'Hara wrote at NBC News.

What the Fair Pay and Safe Workspaces Order Mandated

Obama's order was intended to prevent companies that violated federal labor laws from receiving government contracts. The order banned forced arbitration clauses for sexual discrimination and assault, which are often standard at many employers. It also required federal contractors to provide employees with a statement detailing pay rate, overtime hours, and any deductions.

Noreen Farrell, director of the anti-sex discrimination law firm Equal Rights Advocates, characterized the order as Trump going "on the attack against workers and taxpayers."

"We have an executive order that essentially forces women to pay to keep companies in business that discriminate against them, with their own tax dollars," Farrell told NBC News. "It's an outrage."

RELATED: Take a look at last year's gender pay gap across the US

2016 gender pay gap state to state ranking
See Gallery
2016 gender pay gap state to state ranking

51. Louisiana 

Gender pay gap: 34.7%

(Ian Dagnall / Alamy)

50. Utah 

Gender pay gap: 32.4%


49. Wyoming 

Gender pay gap: 31.2% 

(Philip Scalia / Alamy)

48. West Virginia

Gender pay gap: 30%

(J. Stephen Conn/Flickr)

47. North Dakota

Gender pay gap: 28.7%

(Tim Evanson/Flickr)

46. Alabama

Gender pay gap: 27.4%

(Danny Hooks / Alamy)

45. Idaho

Gender pay gap: 27.2%

(Philip Scalia / Alamy)

44. Oklahoma

Gender pay gap: 26.5%


43. Montana

Gender pay gap: 25.8%

(John Elk III / Alamy)

42. Michigan

Gender pay gap: 25.5%


41. Indiana

Gender pay gap: 24.8%


40. New Hampshire

Gender pay gap: 24.3%


39. South Dakota

Gender pay gap: 23.8%

(SuperStock / Alamy)

38. Mississippi

Gender pay gap: 23%

(Don Smetzer / Alamy)

37. Kansas

Gender pay gap: 23%

(Jim West / Alamy)

35. Iowa

Gender pay gap: 22.7%

(Ellen Isaacs / Alamy) 

34. Missouri

Gender pay gap: 22.6%

(L. Allen Brewer/Flickr)

33. Ohio

Gender pay gap: 22.2%


32. New Mexico

Gender pay gap: 21.9%

(Patrick Ray Dunn / Alamy)

31. Arkansas

Gender pay gap: 21.8%

(Buddy Mays / Alamy)

30. Texas

Gender pay gap: 21.2%

(Ian Dagnall / Alamy)

29.  Maine

Gender pay gap: 21.2%


28. Nebraska

Gender pay gap: 21.1%

(Ian G Dagnall / Alamy)

27. Wisconsin 

Gender pay gap: 21.1%

(Jeff Greenberg 5 / Alamy)

26. Illinois

Gender pay gap: 20.9%

(incamerastock / Alamy)

25. Pennsylvania

Gender pay gap: 20.8%


24. Kentucky

Gender pay gap: 20.1%


23. Virginia

Gender pay gap: 19.8%


22. South Carolina

Gender pay gap: 19.8%

(Ellisphotos / Alamy)

21. New Jersey 

Gender pay gap: 19.7%

(Robert Quinlan / Alamy)

20. Alaska

Gender pay gap: 19.2%

(retro traveler/Flickr)

19. Delaware

Gender pay gap: 19.0%

(J. Stephen Conn/Flickr)

18. Tennessee

Gender pay gap: 18.5%

(Jim Nix / Nomadic Pursuits/Flickr)

17. Minnesota

Gender pay gap: 18.4%


16. Rhode Island

Gender pay gap: 18.3%


15. Georgia 

Gender pay gap: 18.2%

(Ian Dagnall Commercial Collection / Alamy)

14. Colorado 

Gender pay gap: 18.1%

(Jesse Varner/Flickr)

13. Massachusetts

Gender pay gap: 18.0%


11. Connecticut

Gender pay gap: 17.4%


10. Vermont

Gender pay gap: 16.2%


9.  Arizona

Gender pay gap: 15.9%

(Photoshot Holdings Ltd / Alamy)

8. California

Gender pay gap: 15.8%

(Robert Landau / Alamy)

7. North Carolina

Gender pay gap: 15.3%


6. Florida

Gender pay gap: 15.1%

(FL Stock / Alamy)

5. Nevada

Gender pay gap: 14.9%


4. Maryland

Gender pay gap: 14.6%

(tim caynes/Flickr)

3. Hawaii

Gender pay gap: 14.1%

(Mauro Ladu / Alamy)

2. New York

Gender pay gap: 13.2%


1. Washington D.C.

Gender pay gap: 10.4%

(Alexandre Deslongchamps via Getty Images)

Puerto Rico has the smallest gender pay gap, and it benefits women. 

Gender pay gap: -4.6% -- Women earn more than men by a small margin

(Fuse via Getty Images)


Why Pay Transparency Matters

"The wage transparency requirement forced companies with federal contracts to provide each employee with a 'wage statement,' making clear the rate of pay, the number of hours worked, the total amount of pay and any specific additions or deductions," wrote Tom Embury-Dennis at The Independent. "It was one of the few ways to help ensure women were being paid as much as their male colleagues."

Pay transparency is an important tool in the fight for gender pay equity. When salary isn't shrouded in mystery, it's harder for employers to pay men more than women — on purpose or by accident. Although PayScale's data show that women aren't that much less likely to negotiation salary than men (42 percent of women vs. 44 percent of men), they're less likely to get a raise when they ask for one (43 percent of women who asked vs. 46 percent of men). In addition, they're more likely to pay a higher social cost for asking.

In short, women can't always rely on good negotiating skills to get them the salary they deserve. Pay transparency helps close the gap.

Tell Us What You Think

What's your opinion of this order, and the one it revokes? We want to hear from you. Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

The post President Trump Rolls Back Workplace Protections for Women appeared first on Career News.

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