Pay inequality and mishandling of sexual harassment will no longer stop companies from making millions in federal money
Hot on the heels of the news that workplaces have seen almost no decline in sexual harassment in the last 40 years, and days before Equal Pay Day, Donald Trump revoked workplace protections put in place by Barack Obama that largely made work a safer place for women.
Obama signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Order in 2014, requiring companies that accept federal contracts to comply with 14 labor and civil rights laws that protect their workers, only to be completely reversed as of March 27, thanks to Trump.
Those laws included things like the end of “forced arbitration clauses,” which force complainants in sexual harassment cases to have their allegations reviewed privately within the company. Forced arbitration clauses give all the power to companies to cover up allegations of sexual harassment, or even to straight up silence victims. As Maya Raghu, Director of Workplace Equality at the National Women’s Law Center, put it, “Arbitrations are private proceedings with secret filings and private attorneys, and they often help hide sexual harassment claims. It can silence victims. They may feel afraid of coming forward because they might think they are the only one, or fear retaliation.”
Also included was the Fair Pay order that requires transparency and equal pay for women. Since Trump revoked Obama’s order, companies that contract with the federal government are no longer required to provide any kind of proof that they pay women the same as men for the same jobs. In fact, they’re no longer required to submit any kind of compensation data to the government, so they can go ahead and pay minorities less while they’re at it.
And before anyone has the chance to say that companies that are already complying with those laws will continue to do so, Obama put them in place after a 2010 Government Accountability Office investigation showed that companies making millions from government contracts were allowing rampant civil rights violations within their ranks.
But happy Equal Pay Day, amiright?