The COVID-19 public health crisis underscores the need to ensure that women—who are the sole or co-breadwinner in most American households—are not facing additional hurdles to economic security. The wage gap contributes to higher rates of poverty for women and families, especially women of color and their families. If the wage gap were eliminated, the average woman could afford an additional 13 months of childcare, 10 months of rent, and over a year’s worth of food. At a time when many parents—especially single mothers—face precarious employment and the need to care for children and loved ones, it is crucial that we ensure women and families have access to needed resources and support.
Although the COVID-19 coronavirus has been designated as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, you still have rights under the ADA. The EEOC has provided guidance consistent with these workplace protections and rules. This publication, which was written during the prior H1N1 outbreak, is still relevant today and identifies established ADA and Rehabilitation Act (which applies to federal employees) principles to answer questions frequently asked about the workplace during a pandemic.
Recent Labor Department data shows that women have now overtaken men as the majority of the labor force. Women have always worked and played a crucial role in our economy, but more than ever, it’s clear that our workplace laws are far behind. So this International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we’re calling for federal laws that will go a long way towards advancing gender equality.
According to SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, reproductive justice is "the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” In our mission to ensure pregnant workers, caregivers, and all workers have the support they need to care for themselves and their loved ones, we strongly support and are inspired by the principles of the reproductive justice movement.
With this decision, Philadelphia’s workers will no longer be subject to questions about their salary history— a practice that enables employers to discriminate against groups that historically earn less from the outset of their careers, including women, people of color, and especially those who are mothers. In 2019, we successfully led a campaign to pass a New York State passed its own salary history ban, joining dozens of other jurisdictions in making this important step towards closing the wage gap and advancing gender equality.
The U.S. is facing a maternal and infant health crisis—one that is disproportionately impacting Black women and women of color—as highlighted in a recent Congressional hearing. Although this problem and its solutions are multifaceted, one key piece to addressing this crisis is the need to ensure our workplaces are safe and supportive environments for pregnant workers and mothers. Unfortunately, the reality is that too many pregnant workers and new mothers are forced to risk their health at work—especially those women in low-wage and physically demanding jobs, who are largely women of color.
In an alarming development for workers’ rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) voted this week to rescind its longstanding position that forced arbitration clashes with our nation’s civil rights laws. Forced arbitration—the practice of employers forcing employees to sign away their right to take their claims to court—allows corporations to get away with violating their workers' rights.
November 20 is Latina Equal Pay Day—marking the day Latina women had to work into 2019 in order to match what white, non-Hispanic men made in 2018. That means Latina women had to work nearly two years to make what white, hispanic men made in just one year. The gender wage gap has many root causes, but it’s important to recognize that the pay gap for Latinas is attributable to sexism, racism, and anti-immigration policies, a multi-layered burden that white women do not face.
Join us and the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network on Tuesday November 12, 9:15-10:45am, at NYU School of Law for a conversation about the key barriers to gender equality in the workplace, including pregnancy discrimination, harassment and pay inequity. A Better Balance Co-President Dina Bakst will be joined by Congressman Jerrold Nadler, the ACLU, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and others.
When workers must forego wages to attend to family caregiving responsibilities or otherwise struggle with juggling caregiving and work, it can result in lasting economic consequences. So this National Family Caregivers Month, let’s demand we support family caregivers and treat their role with the value it deserves!