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White House: Raising the Minimum Wage and Tipped Minimum Wage Helps Close Wage Gap, Reduces Poverty

Posted by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Senior Policy Analyst | Posted on: March 26, 2014 at 11:41 am

A new report  issued by the White House this morning provides more compelling evidence that raising the minimum wage is critical for advancing fair pay and economic security for women. The report evaluates the impact of the Fair Minimum Wage Act proposed by Senator Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Miller (D-CA) and, like the NWLC analysis of the proposal, finds that women would especially benefit from raising the minimum wage, now just $7.25 an hour, to $10.10 per hour, increasing the tipped minimum cash wage – now just $2.13 an hour – to 70 percent of the minimum wage, and indexing these wages for inflation.

Here are some key findings from the report:

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Alert the Media: Women Play Basketball Too

It’s March Madness time, but if you only read the papers, you wouldn’t know that women are even playing basketball. Last weekend when I was on vacation, I picked up a USA Today and in the entire sports section, there was not one mention of any women’s games. It’s as though the women’s tournament doesn’t exist. The NYT Public Editor’s Journal blog recently bemoaned the lack of coverage of the women’s tournament as well. In general, women receive only about 6-8% of the total newspaper sports coverage. Coverage on TV is also far from equal, but I suppose we should be grateful that ESPN is at least broadcasting most games in the women’s tournament.

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There’s No “Magic” Solution to Bullying and Harassment, But the Safe Schools Improvement Act is an Important Start

Posted by Stephanie Berger, Fellow | Posted on: March 25, 2014 at 02:38 pm

“My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” is a cartoon show that has captured the imaginations of many, with a huge fan base of kids and adults alike. The lessons about kindness relayed in that show should be reinforced by the adults in children’s lives, particularly by those who teach children in our schools. Yet that is not always the case, as 9-year-old North Carolina student Grayson Bruce recently learned. When Grayson was bullied at school for wearing a “girlie” My Little Pony backpack, his school’s administrators told him the solution was simple: Stop bringing the backpack, which was “triggering” the bullying. In other words, he was to blame, not the kids who tormented him for being different from a stereotypical boy.

Grayson’s outraged mother launched a Facebook page in protest, and soon attracted over 700,000 fans. When school officials heard the outcry, they met with Grayson’s parents and reversed their decision. “Every situation with young children is a teachable moment and we will use this example in our efforts to address a wider issue of bullying. The Bruce family has committed to working with us to improve and enhance our anti-bullying programs,” administrators have since stated.

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A Snapshot of Enrollment: Our Experience in Virginia

Posted by | Posted on: March 25, 2014 at 01:46 pm

On most days, we’re in our office working on health policy – crunching numbers, reading reports, writing about new policy proposals – but one day a week for the past three months, we’ve been in the field working with northern Virginians who want to enroll in health insurance. As Certified Application Counselors, we work with individuals and families to apply online, evaluate their options for health coverage, and then enroll in the plan that fits their needs and budget.

HHS announced last week that 5 million Americans have signed up for insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with nearly 103,000 in Virginia [PDF]. We’ve only worked with a small fraction of the new enrollees, but we’ve seen how eager people are to learn about the financial help that is available and evaluate their options for insurance.

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7 Days, 7 Reasons: Why You Should Sign Up For Affordable Health Coverage

Posted by Danielle Garrett, Health Policy Analyst | Posted on: March 24, 2014 at 03:52 pm

This is the last week of open enrollment for the new healthcare marketplaces. That means you only have 7 days to sign up for an affordable health plan and #getcovered. So I suggest heading over to healthcare.gov right now, before it’s too late. But if you need more convincing, I’ve got 7 reasons why you should sign up for affordable health coverage before the March 31st deadline.

  1. It’s cheap: Duke may have lost, messing up everyone’s bracket, but with subsidies available to help you purchase coverage, you can afford to buy health insurance AND pay into your office March Madness pool. Seriously. 6 out of 10 Americans can get coverage for less than $100 a month.
  2. You’ll Get Preventive Services without Cost Sharing: Admit it, you love getting things you don’t have to pay extra for. Gift bags at the makeup counter, samples at Costco, free shipping from Amazon… And it’s even better when it’s something you actually need.  If you sign up for coverage you’ll be able to get important services like well women visits, pap smears, STD screenings, and contraception with no out-of-pocket costs.
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Tax Day Cometh - And That Can Mean Help for Millions of Families

Posted by Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts | Posted on: March 24, 2014 at 11:28 am

As the April 15 tax filing deadline approaches, NWLC and its partners want you to know about federal and state tax credits for which working families may be eligible -- and how to get help filing tax returns.

Many families are still struggling to recover from the recession, and keeping up with their bills can be a challenge. So it’s important now, especially for families with children, to claim federal and state tax credits that can to help them make ends meet.  To do that, families must file tax returns.

Families may be eligible for:   

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"Every data point represents a life:" New Data Shed Light on Educational Disparities

Posted by | Posted on: March 21, 2014 at 03:58 pm

We are all familiar with the saying “knowledge is power,” and when it comes to ensuring equal access to educational opportunities, it couldn’t be more true. Far too many students are still not receiving the education they deserve, and data are critical to understanding the magnitude of educational inequity throughout the country.

Today, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released new civil rights data, the first of its scope in nearly 15 years. The new 2011-12 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) compiles data from all 97,000 public schools and 16,500 school districts. This represents 49 million students across the country. And, for the first time ever, all state-, district-, and school-level data are searchable in an online database. These comprehensive data can empower parents, advocates, and local and state governments to assess their schools and help create informed policies that better support students.

Some of the new key data findings that relate to girls and other issues we focus on at NWLC include:

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The Raiderettes Want Their Day In Court — Will They Get It?

Posted by Lauren Khouri, Fellow | Posted on: March 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm

The Oakland Raiders have been in the news this week . . . and it isn’t because of their newest draft picks.

In January, the Oakland Raiders cheerleaders, the Raiderettes, filed a class-action lawsuit [PDF] alleging that the Raiders have broken a long list of California employment laws, including underpaying wages, withholding wages, and forcing cheerleaders to pay expenses the team mandates they incur. One of the cheerleaders, Lacy, alleges that she spent months working, training, and rehearsing without a paycheck. She explains that the Raiders never paid her minimum wage or overtime and that they did not provide meal or rest breaks during an eight-hour-plus shift. The complaint also alleges that the Raiders require the Raiderettes to use a hairstylist they select—and that the cheerleaders must pay for it out of pocket on their $125-per-game payments. This equals out to $1,250 for an entire season and amounts to less than $5 an hour for all the work required for the job. The cheerleaders receive no payment for mandatory practices, rehearsals, fittings, drills, photo sessions, meetings, and workouts. While not being paid for these events, the cheerleaders can be fined for being late, or for not having the appropriate nail polish color. The list goes on and on. And in response to these egregious working conditions, the cheerleaders simply want their day in court to enforce their rights under the law.

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