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Marriage Equality Affirmed in the Fourth Circuit

Posted by Lauren Khouri, Fellow | Posted on: July 29, 2014 at 10:19 am

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit handed down its decision in Bostic v. Rainey, becoming the second federal appeals court to strike down bans on marriage between same-sex couples post-Windsor.

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Recap: The Schedules That Work Act Briefing, July 22nd

Posted by Therese Salazar, Intern | Posted on: July 28, 2014 at 11:55 am

The Schedules that Work Act was introduced in the House & Senate this past Tuesday, followed by a standing-room-only congressional briefing about why workers need fair work schedules.

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The White House’s Champions of Change: A Call to Eliminate the Tipped Minimum Wage

Posted by Hana Bajramovic, Intern | Posted on: July 28, 2014 at 10:44 am

On Tuesday, July 22, the White House celebrated the Raise the Wage Champions of Change, a group of policymakers, workers, and business owners fighting for an increase in the minimum wage.

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The Business Case For A Higher Minimum Wage

Posted by Tiffany Ray, Intern | Posted on: July 28, 2014 at 10:02 am

Opponents of raising the minimum wage say it’s a job killer that will cause businesses to fail and reduce employment overall.

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Pam Harris Nomination Moves Forward in Senate

Posted by Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts | Posted on: July 25, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Yesterday, the Senate voted to move forward on the nomination of Pamela Harris to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. A confirmation vote is scheduled for 5:30 pm on Monday.

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Too Much At Risk: Ryan Poverty Plan Puts Children Needing Early Learning at Risk

Posted by Helen Blank, Director of Child Care and Early Learning | Posted on: July 25, 2014 at 09:44 am

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his plan to combat poverty this morning. It flies in the face of the strong support that the public has expressed for increasing investments in early learning.

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Play it Again… No, Don’t: Ryan Poverty Plan Sticks to Theme of Consolidating Programs, No New Funding

Posted by Emily Wales, Fellow | Posted on: July 24, 2014 at 05:08 pm

Rep. Paul Ryan’s new plan [PDF] to fight poverty is out, and I’ll give him this: He’s staying the course. Not a course that works, mind you, but Ryan’s proposal sticks with a predictable path of – wait for it – block grants with little federal regulation, no new funding, elimination of some critical programs, and complaints that safety net programs discourage low-income families from working.

A new era? More like a blast from the past.

Ryan’s proposal states that it’s not about budget-cutting, and it “does not make judgments about an optimal level of spending.” Instead, he argues, this is about finding new ways to alleviate poverty. That’s hard to take seriously from someone who, as chairman of the House Budget Committee, has proposed past budgets that would deeply cut safety net programs. (Even the conservative National Review noted that Ryan’s budget proposals would go too far in cutting programs for low-income families: “But balancing the budget like Ryan did last time around . . . means cutting programs rather than fixing them or replacing them with wholly new ones that will better accomplish their goals.”) With this new poverty plan, Ryan seems to think you can have it both ways – draw up one plan to cut programs and another that ignores your plans to cut. Confusing, eh?

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Repeat Offender: NWLC Files Complaint Against Georgia School District for Ongoing Pregnancy Discrimination

Posted by Samantha Hall, Intern | Posted on: July 24, 2014 at 11:37 am

Today, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) filed a complaint against Georgia’s Washington-Wilkes Comprehensive High School (WWCHS) and Wilkes County Schools for violating Title IX, the federal civil rights law that protects students from sex discrimination, including pregnancy discrimination. The complaint alleges that WWCHS is violating Title IX in a number of ways, such as excluding pregnant students from receiving homebound instruction services made available to students with other medical conditions, and refusing to excuse pregnancy-related absences.

The complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s regional Office for Civil Rights in Atlanta, details the discrimination experienced by Mikelia Seals, a WWCHS student who was pregnant during the 2013-2014 school year. Mikelia was seven months pregnant when her doctor told her she needed to go on bed rest because she was at risk of premature delivery. Mikelia and her mother then asked Mikelia’s guidance counselor for homebound instruction. The guidance counselor told Mikelia that WWCHS doesn’t provide homebound instruction services (not true). So Mikelia did the best she could with the work she got from her individual teachers – that is, until the principal told her she would not get any credit for that work or for the semester because she had exceeded the allowable number of unexcused absences. She never had the chance to finish the semester and never received a report card. The new school year starts in a couple of weeks and she is worried that she will not be able to graduate in Spring 2015 as scheduled. She hopes to go to nursing school after she graduates.

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