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Decision Not to Take Up Cases Allows Marriage Equality to Stand in States Across the Country

Posted by | Posted on: October 06, 2014 at 02:25 pm

This morning, the Court denied review in all seven of the cases it had been asked to take up involving state bans on marriage between same-sex couples. This means that the lower-court decisions striking down marriage bans in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin are final and will go into effect immediately. These decisions also are good news for same-sex couples seeking to marry in Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming, as district courts in these states are bound by the Fourth,Seventh and Tenth Circuit court decisions that were presented for Supreme Court review. As a result, same-sex couples will be able to get married in 30 states and the District of Columbia.

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It’s Time to Stop Talking about the ‘Mancession’: September’s Employment Update Shows Higher Unemployment for Women than Men

Posted by Alana Eichner, Program Assistant | Posted on: October 03, 2014 at 03:48 pm

What day is it today? It’s October 3rd, and for many that means the unofficial celebration of Mean Girls Day, and the fond recalling of that famous date spoken between the protagonists in 2004’s Mean Girls. But if you can believe it, today is significant for us at NWLC for a different reason—today is the release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September jobs numbers, and this month the numbers reveal that the recovery needs to pick up steam for women and men.

In September 2014, adult women’s unemployment was above the rate for men, 5.5 percent for women compared to 5.3 percent for men. Women’s and men’s unemployment rates have been moving closer together for some time, but this is the first time the unemployment rate for women has been above that of men since December 2012. 

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Abortion Restrictions Can Make it Harder to Leave Violent Relationships: What the New Study Means for Our Current Policy Fights

Posted by Sharon Levin, Director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy | Posted on: October 02, 2014 at 12:35 pm

You may have already read about the first-of-its-kind study that documents the connection between denials of abortion and intimate partner violence.  Now it is up to us to use this important new evidence in the fight to stop bad abortion laws at the state and federal levels.

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38 Anniversaries Too Many: Time to End the Hyde Amendment

Posted by Leila Abolfazli, Senior Counsel | Posted on: September 30, 2014 at 10:20 am

Anniversaries. I love celebrating anniversaries. Yay to Roe v. Wade, yay to Title IX, yay to 12 years with my husband. Bring on the flowers, cake, and happy dances.

But there is one anniversary where a dark cloud comes over the day. And that’s the anniversary of the Hyde Amendment.

What’s Hyde you say? It’s the restriction that’s passed every year for the past THIRTY-EIGHT years denying women with Medicaid health insurance coverage of abortion except in a few limited circumstances. Every year Congress decides that some women don’t deserve to decide for themselves what’s best for them and their families. Every year some members of Congress who don’t like abortion personally are withholding Medicaid coverage from qualified women, just to make it harder or even impossible for them to have an abortion.

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New NWLC and LDF Report: African American Teen Mothers Need Support, Not Shaming

Posted by Adaku Onyeka-Crawford, Fellow | Posted on: September 29, 2014 at 09:35 am

During my second year of law school, I taught civics and civil rights in an alternative high school in D.C.—that is, a school for students who preferred or were pushed into a nontraditional setting. Almost all my students were Black, and many of them were either pregnant or already parents. In addition to trying to graduate, they had to deal with many other responsibilities most teenagers don’t even think about: scheduling doctor’s appointments; arranging and paying for childcare; finding affordable housing; holding steady employment to support themselves and their kids. The last thing they needed was grief for being a young parent.

Yet that’s what many African American teen mothers encounter from their peers, teachers, and administrators, according to Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity, a new report from the National Women’s Law Center and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

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Walmart Managers Must Respect the Rights of Associates

Posted by Elizabeth Johnston, Fellow | Posted on: September 26, 2014 at 04:11 pm

More than six months after Walmart changed its pregnancy accommodation policy, the experience of workers on the ground is that pregnant women are still not being accommodated. Thankfully, workers are organizing to ensure that Walmart implements its  pregnancy accommodation policy in the way it promised.

Last week, I attended a meeting of Respect the Bump, a group that formed when Our Walmart members began discussing online the troubles they had working at Walmart during their pregnancies. After comparing stories, these women found that, across the country, pregnant Walmart workers faced similar challenges: Instead of providing even minor accommodations to those pregnant women that needed them, Walmart routinely forced them onto unpaid leave or fired them.  This is despite the fact that Walmart routinely accommodated workers with a broad array of disabilities and workers with on-the-job injuries. This disparate treatment violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

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If Shonda Rhimes Says It’s Important, It’s Important

Posted by Gail Zuagar, Outreach Associate | Posted on: September 26, 2014 at 04:01 pm

ABC’s Scandal is at the top of my DVR list—literally. This means that, come Thursdays at (its new time) 9 pm, nothing in this world (with the exception of a power outage) can get between me and my Scandal.

Can you tell that I, like all the other Gladiators out there, really love the show?

Something exciting always happens during Scandal, but what happened while watching Thursday’s season four premiere was even more exciting than usual. Shonda Rhimes and her writing team addressed two very important issues that are National Women’s Law Center priorities—equal pay for women and sexual assault. (You may have seen some of our resources and work on Title IX and sexual assault on college campuses, for example.)

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Scheduling Protections Under State and Local Law

Posted by Liz Watson, Senior Counsel and Director of Workplace Justice for Women | Posted on: September 26, 2014 at 11:40 am

Today, the national women's Law Center released a fact sheet providing information about innovative state and local laws to protect workers from abusive scheduling practices. These existing state and local laws provide a useful model for other states and localities to consider. The fact sheet describes right to request, split shift, and reporting time pay laws in effect in the United States.

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