Jan 152015

Record numbers of women have entered the workforce in recent decades. However, they often earn less money than men who are working at similar or identical jobs. The male–female income differential, also called the gender pay gap, refers to the ratio of female to male yearly median earnings among full-time workers. In 2010, the median income of full-time workers was about $43,000 for men and $35,000 for women. The female-to-male earnings ratio was 0.81, meaning that, on average, female workers earned 19% less than their male peers. Studies show much wider gaps exist for women of color and working mothers, and these disparities exist in both the private and government sectors. Women make up about half our workforce and more than 70% are mothers of young children. Some say the pay gap is a myth, arguing that women’s choices, not discrimination, account for the wage gap. Others disagree saying that in most cases, mothers do chose to have children, but they don’t choose the discrimination that often accompanies that decision. They claim women earn less than men even when they work the same number of hours, a gap that exists across every educational level. They say hundreds of studies which have confirmed gender pay differences can only be explained by continued intentional discrimination, or the lingering effects of past discrimination. Advocates say pay disparity greatly undermines the stability of many American households and the quality of life of many American families.

Pending Legislation:

S.84 & H.R.377 – Paycheck Fairness Act

H.R.951 – Women and Workforce Investment for Nontraditional Jobs

I oppose reforming current pay gap policy and wish to defeat S.84 & H.R.377 and H.R.951

I support requiring employers to show pay disparity is related to job-performance rather than gender; prohibiting employers from firing employees who disclose and discuss their salaries publicly; increasing compensation women can seek for pay discrimination and allowing women to not only seek back pay, but also punitive damages; approving grants to strengthen salary negotiation and other workplace skills and requiring the Department of Labor to enhance outreach and training efforts to eliminate pay disparities, and wish to pass S.84 & H.R.377

I support increasing low-income women’s participation in high-wage, high-demand occupations in which women make up less than 25% of the current workforce by authoring grants to provide technical assistance to eligible entities and to state registered apprenticeship programs and sponsors and joint apprenticeship training councils in meeting their enrollment goal for low-income women in nontraditional occupations; develop policies and protocols that set goals for hiring specific percentages of women into registered apprenticeships and permanent employment openings in publicly assisted projects; and engage in outreach activities and provide training to overcome stereotypes about women in nontraditional occupations as well as gender inequity among employers, and wish to pass H.R.951

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

Statistics show that most Americans between the ages of 25 and 75 will spend at least one year living below the poverty line of $23,000/year. There are now at least 47 million people, or nearly 1 of every 6 Americans, living in poverty. Our poverty rate is the highest it has been since 1965 and we lead all other wealthy industrialized nations, by far, with this dubious distinction. The swollen ranks of our poor are on track to erase the gains from our War on Poverty in the 1960s. Many blame the weak economy and a fraying government safety net. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF), sometimes referred to as welfare, is a federal assistance program for the needy. TANF provides temporary cash assistance to indigent American families with dependent children. There is a 60 month lifetime limit on these modest benefits. TANF benefits have been steadily decreasing since the landmark social service reforms of the Clinton Administration. The share of poor families with children that are drawing cash benefits plummeted from 68% to 27% between 1996 and 2010. During the same period, the number of poor families with children grew from 6.2 million to 7.3 million.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.814 – Rewriting to Improve and Secure an Exit Out of Poverty Act

I oppose reforming current Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program policy and wish to defeat H.R.814

I support requiring states to provide assistance sufficient to meet the survival needs of families; providing benefits and services to families at risk of having a child removed from the home because of poverty; suspending the 5-year time limit during a recession; allowing mothers to keep child support on top of welfare; entitling family members to benefits who are caring fulltime for disabled children, parents or other relatives; expediting benefits for domestic violence survivors; excluding student aid from welfare calculations and ending the 12-month educational limits so that mothers can once again pursue a 2-4 year college education; entitling mothers to refuse jobs below minimum wage or at work sites on strike or lockout, and wish to pass H.R.814

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015

A working parent is one who is both employed in the workforce and performs duties as a childcare provider. Women now make up about half our workforce and more than 70% of these workers are mothers of children under the age of 18. In addition to earning substantially less than women who are childless, working mothers face additional challenges. Some must find secret locations to pump breast milk. Others must explain to employers their reasons for being absent, late or working from home when their child is sick or has a snow-day. Some say that although mothers have flourished in work environments, women still feel pressure from stereotypical gender assumptions of being the prime care-takers of children. If true, this pressure is manifested in the time schedules of most working moms, for whom personal time and space are rare luxuries. Most would agree it is very difficult balancing the demands of a job with those of a family. Job requirements and work-related events and travel often conflict with the demands of maintaining a household, helping with homework, nursing an ill child, or attending school, sports and family activities. Advocates say flexibility in working hours makes a big difference to working moms.

Pending legislation:

S.1248 & H.R.2559 – Flexibility for Working Families Act

S.934 & H.R.1941 – Supporting Working Moms Act of 2013

H.R.1406 – Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current working mothers policy and wish to defeat S.1248 & H.R.2559, S.934 & H.R.1941, and H.R.1406

I support authorizing an employee to request from an employer a temporary or permanent change in the terms or conditions of the employee’s employment if the request relates to: the number of hours the employee is required to work, the times when the employee is required to work or be on call for work, where the employee is required to work, or the amount of notification the employee receives of work schedule assignments; making it unlawful for an employer to interfere with any rights provided to an employee under this Act; authorizing an employee to file a complaint with the Secretary of Labor for any violations of such rights; providing for the investigation and assessment of civil penalties or the award of relief for alleged violations, and wish to pass S.1248 & H.R.2559

I support requiring that certain employers provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child, and wish to pass S.934 & H.R.1941

I support authoring private employers to provide compensatory time off to private employees at a rate of 1½ hours per hour of employment for which overtime compensation is required; authorizing an employer to provide compensatory time only if it is in accordance with an applicable collective bargaining agreement or, in the absence of such an agreement, an agreement between the employer and employee; prohibiting an employee from accruing more than 160 hours of compensatory time; requiring an employee’s employer to provide monetary compensation, after the end of a calendar year, for any unused compensatory time off accrued during the preceding year; requiring an employer to give employees 30-day notice before discontinuing compensatory time off; prohibiting an employer from intimidating, threatening, or coercing an employee in order to: interfere with the employee’s right to request or not to request compensatory time off in lieu of payment of monetary overtime compensation, or requiring an employee to use such compensatory time; making an employer who violates such requirements liable to the affected employee in the amount of the compensation rate for each hour of compensatory time accrued, plus an additional equal amount as liquidated damages, reduced for each hour of compensatory time used, and wish to pass H.R.1406

 Posted by at 12:00 am