Perhaps she was getting her hair done; or maybe her nails were chipped. Maybe she was designing a new handbag to be made in China and sold in “America First,” or maybe she was busy having her street blocked off so her children could go to the park with their Secret Service escorts.
One thing is for sure, when Daddy recently signed an executive order that advocates say rolls back hard-fought victories for women in the workplace, Ivanka _____, Daddy’s Special ASS-istant, was nowhere to be found.
Complicit. On March 27, President _____ revoked the 2014 Fair Play and Safe Workplaces order that former Real President Obama put in place to ensure that companies with federal contracts comply with labor and civil rights laws. See, in an attempt to keep the worst violators from receiving taxpayer dollars, the Fair Pay order included two rules that impacted women workers: paycheck transparency and a ban on forced arbitration clauses for sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination claims.
But why ban forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment? Well, forced arbitration clauses—sometimes called "cover-up clauses” critics—are commonly used to keep sex discrimination claims out of the courts and off the public record.
No one knows about the company’s sexual harassment history, or arbitration, because it’s kept private. And many of us learned about this last year when Gretchen Carlson, formerly of Fox News, choice to avoid the arbitration avenue and directly sue former Fox CEO Roger Ailes, rather than sue the company. Ailes' lawyers accused Carlson of breaching her contract, and tried to force her into private arbitration to keep the story out of courts and out of the public’s eye.
And now there’s a new lawsuit filed against Fox News by commentator Julie Roginsky, who says she faced retaliation "because of [her] refusal to malign Gretchen Carlson and join 'Team Roger' when Carlson sued Ailes."
So, by overturning the Fair Pay order, _____ has made it possible for businesses with federal contracts to continue forcing sexual harassment cases like Carlson's into secret proceedings; and it doesn’t matter how many sexual harassment claims are made against the company, all of them would stay private.
After the Fox News sexual harassment story broke, Carlson testified before Congress about forced arbitration; Senators Richard Blumenthal, Dick Durbin and Al Franken wrote to major arbitration companies to ask for information on the amount of secret arbitration proceedings involving sexual harassment and discrimination:
"If Ms. Carlson had followed Mr. Ailes's reading of her contract, her colleagues might never have learned that she was fighting back, they might never have followed her example; Roger Ailes might never have been exposed; and Fox News might never have been forced to change its behavior. Decades of alleged abuse—harassment that should disgust and astound any reasonable person—could have been allowed to continue."
But hey, it’s just women being sexually harassed, so who needs to know about it, right? I mean, c’mon gals, buck up, you know you asked for it when you wore that tight skirt or when you “accidentally” brushed up against Rioter Ailes in a crowded hallway.
Blumenthal has said that _____'s overturning the Fair Pay order sends women's rights in the workplace back "to a time best left to 'Mad Men'":
"These cover-up clauses render people voiceless—forcing them to suffer in silence, suppressing justice, and allowing others to fall victim in the future. At a time when the fight for equal pay continues, _____ also moved to eliminate paycheck transparency and leave workers to negotiate in the dark."
And that’s the other result of _____'s executive order: it lifted a mandate on paycheck transparency, or requiring employers to detail earnings, pay scales, salaries, and other details ... one of the few ways to ensure companies were paying female workers equally to their male colleagues.
In 2016, the median wage for U.S. women was about 16.8 percent less than the median wage for men; women make about 83 cents to a man's dollar. And, according to economist Elise Gould, that gap that increases as women climb the corporate ladder:
"At the bottom, there's just so far down women's wages can go. They are protected by some degree by the minimum wage, but as you move up, women are not occupying places at the top the way men are. The wage gap at the top is much larger."
Gould listed Wal-Mart as an example of how the wage gap works: in lower-paying hourly jobs at the company made $1,100 less per year than men in the same jobs, while women with salaried positions were paid $14,500 less per year than their male coworkers.
And so Obama’s Fair Pay order made employers submit salary details to the government that would show massive wage gaps like Wal-Mart's. That way you know who is cheating women about of equal pay and by how much, and maybe then companies like Wal-Mart and, well, almost every other company in the country might have to pay women the same wage as their male counterparts.
And so where was Ivanka _____ the day her Daddy once again sexually harassed women by taking away some of their workplace rights? All I know is that her hair looked good and her nails were done ...
Resist. Do it for women’s rights. And you’ll end up doing it for the rights of all other “less thans” in the country.