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Weekly Round-Up

Posted by Andrea Maruniak, Media Manager | Posted on: January 13, 2010 at 02:30 am

by Andrea Maruniak, Program Assistant,
National Women's Law Center

The FDA is studying the effects of taking prescription drugs during pregnancy, Our Bodies Our Blog reported.

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Ledbetter Anniversary: A Time to Move Forward on Paycheck Fairness

Posted by Melanie Ross Levin, Director of Outreach | Posted on: January 12, 2010 at 08:39 pm

by Melanie Ross Levin, Outreach Manager,
National Women’s Law Center 

January is a time to reflect on accomplishments of the past year and the work that is still ahead.

In the fight to end pay discrimination against women, 2009 was a year to celebrate. On January 29, 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This bill restored the protection against pay discrimination that was stripped away by the Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Once again, individuals subjected to unlawful pay discrimination are able to effectively assert their rights under federal anti-discrimination laws.

On a personal note, it was quite a way to kick off 2009. After working on the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act non-stop, it was awe-inspiring to be present when President Obama signed the bill into law – the very first of his Administration. But as we all celebrated, Lilly Ledbetter reminded everyone in attendance that the fight is not over: "With this bill in place, we now can move forward to where we all hope to be — improving the law, not just restoring it," she pointed out.

The next step for moving forward is passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.

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Save the Cliffhangers for 'Lost' – and Give Struggling Families Help They Can Count On

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: January 12, 2010 at 04:38 pm

by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security,
National Women's Law Center

Right before the holidays, Congress and President Obama averted a looming disaster by approving a two-month extension of unemployment insurance and COBRA health insurance programs. Without this extension, the New Year would have meant a loss of benefits for 1 million workers in January alone. 
But the holiday reprieve for jobless workers and their families was only temporary. These extended benefits will run out at the end of February, unless Congress takes action again.

The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirm that while the pace of job loss has slowed dramatically since early 2009, the unemployment crisis continues. Overall unemployment remained at 10 percent in December. Unemployment among women rose slightly between November and December, from 8.0 to 8.2 percent, while unemployment among men declined slightly, from 10.4 to 10.2 percent. 

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Child Care and Family Leave Essential for Working Women

Posted by Karen Schulman, Senior Policy Analyst | Posted on: January 08, 2010 at 04:00 pm

by Karen Schulman, Senior Policy Analyst, 
National Women's Law Center 

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Update: President Obama Will Renominate Dawn Johnsen

Posted by Rachel Peck, Fellow | Posted on: January 08, 2010 at 02:08 pm

by Rachel Peck, Fellow, 
National Women's Law Center 

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Senator Dodd: A Leader on Child Care & Early Education

Posted by Helen Blank, Director of Child Care and Early Learning | Posted on: January 07, 2010 at 09:20 pm

by Helen Blank, Director, Leadership and Public Policy,
National Women's Law Center,

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Almost A Year Later, Dawn Johnsen’s Still Waiting

Posted by Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts | Posted on: January 07, 2010 at 08:00 pm

by Amy Matsui, Senior Counsel, 
National Women's Law Center 

Last January, President-elect Obama announced his intent to nominate Dawn Johnsen to lead the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) in the United States Department of Justice. The nomination was made in February, and the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination in March. But for months, Dawn Johnsen’s nomination, along with a number of others, was subjected to endless delays and filibuster threats. Before you knew it, 2009 was over and Dawn Johnsen had not gotten a vote. What is more, because Republicans refused to waive a procedural rule, her nomination lapsed. 

Johnsen, a professor of law at the University of Indiana, is eminently qualified for this important position. She worked in the OLC for five years during the Clinton Administration, including as acting head of the office. She has written extensively about OLC’s critical role of offering impartial and objective legal advice to the President and the executive agencies. She has repeatedly expressed her commitment to fulfilling OLC’s responsibility and to the rule of law. She has the support of Democrats and Republicans alike, including her home-state senator, Senator Richard Lugar. 

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