Skip to contentNational Women's Law Center

Womenstake, NWLC's Blog

Nebraska Becomes the Thirteenth State to Protect Pregnant Workers' Job Security

Posted by Abigail Bar-Lev, Fellow | Posted on: April 16, 2015 at 10:09 am

What do women in Nebraska now have in common with women in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Texas, and West Virginia? Like the women in those states, Nebraska women no longer have to fear for their jobs when they become pregnant.

That’s because earlier this week, Governor Ricketts signed the Nebraska Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (LB 267) into law that grants pregnant workers the right to reasonable accommodations, so that no woman will have to choose between the health and safety of her pregnancy and her paycheck.

Read more... Add new comment

If You Paid $1 in Income Tax, You Paid More than 15 Fortune 500 Companies — Put Together

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: April 15, 2015 at 04:24 pm

Our friends at Citizens for Tax Justice have posted five facts you should know for Tax Day. We were particularly taken by their chart, which we pasted below. It shows that in 2014, 15 profitable Fortune 500 companies that made combined profits of over $23.5 billion paid zero federal income tax. Actually, they did better than that—they got tax refunds totaling $731 million!

Read more... Add new comment

Instead of Voting to Confirm Loretta Lynch, Senate Votes on Something Else — for 74th Time

Posted by Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts | Posted on: April 15, 2015 at 02:56 pm

The nomination of Loretta Lynch has been pending on the Senate floor now for 48 days — or nearly seven weeks. As Senator Patrick Leahy put it, “This unnecessary wait time is twice as long as the last seven Attorney General nominees combined.”  Despite the fact that the announced support for Ms. Lynch’s nomination would ensure her confirmation, Senate Majority Leader McConnell refuses to schedule a vote.

Read more... Add new comment

Lawmakers in Maine Aim to Help Families Afford Child Care Through Tax Code Improvements

Posted by Susanna Birdsong, Fellow | Posted on: April 15, 2015 at 11:08 am

Several presidential hopefuls have announced their candidacies in recent weeks, and regardless of their party affiliation, one issue seems to be on everyone’s list of talking points: American families are struggling to make ends meet, in large part due to the high cost of child care.

Some Maine legislators aren’t waiting for the 2016 elections. This legislative session, they are attempting to update and improve their state tax credit for child care expenses—and families in the state could really use the help! The average cost of center-based child care for an infant was $9,360 in 2012, about the same as the average tuition and fees at a Maine public university ($9,471) [PDF].

Specifically, the bill that has been introduced in Maine would increase the value of the Maine Child Care Credit—which is based on the federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit – in two ways:

Read more... Add new comment

Rewriting No Child Left Behind: Committee Mark-Up Day 1

Posted by Adaku Onyeka-Crawford, Fellow | Posted on: April 15, 2015 at 10:09 am

For three hours yesterday afternoon, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) met to debate and offer amendments to the Every Child Achieves Act—a bipartisan compromise to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  The ESEA is the major federal K-12 education-funding bill that was last amended in 2002 as the No Child Left Behind Act.  Here’s a quick rundown of where things stand after yesterday’s markup:

Read more... Add new comment

Tax Day News: Louisiana's Unique Tax Credits Improve Child Care Quality

Posted by Nancy Duff Campbell, Co-President | Posted on: April 14, 2015 at 05:31 pm

Louisiana’s unique package of tax credits, the first of its kind in the country, improved the quality of child care in the state in its first four years — including for low-income children — according to a new report just released by the National Women’s Law Center. The report assesses the effectiveness of the credits, known collectively as the School Readiness Tax Credits (SRTC), in improving child care quality in the first four years of their implementation. Between 2008, when the credits took effect, and 2011, the credits provided more than $38 million in new investments in child care quality. Over the same period, there were measurable improvements in the quality of child care in Louisiana.

Read more... Add new comment

A Lot Has Changed Since 1970, But Not As Much As You’d Think—Particularly for Federal Contractors

Posted by Abigail Bar-Lev, Fellow | Posted on: April 14, 2015 at 05:17 pm

A lot has changed since 1970. For example, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” was a billboard topper, and Jackson 5’s “ABC” was hitting fresh ears, not yet to be played and replayed at every bar- and bat-mitzvah party across the country. The “Ed Sullivan Show” was prime time television, and PBS first turned on its lights.

Of course, the workplace was a very different place in 1970 as well. Women in 1970 made up only about 38 percent of the workforce—representing about 30 million workers. Today, those numbers are dramatically higher; with nearly 73 million working women, women today make up nearly half—47 percent—of the workforce.  And whereas less than 50 percent of first-time mothers worked while pregnant in 1970, nearly two-thirds of first-time mothers work while pregnant today. Although women in 1970 were just beginning to get their foothold in 1970—and were earning just 59 cents to every dollar earned by a man—today, women’s income is critical to their families. Working women are primary breadwinners in more than 41 percent of families and they are co-breadwinners—bringing in between 25 to 50 percent of family earnings—in another 23 percent of these families.

Read more... Add new comment

The Affordable Care Act — Latest Data is a Good News Story

Posted by Karen Davenport, Director of Health Policy | Posted on: April 14, 2015 at 04:18 pm

Is it working? In the health care context, you might ask this about a prescription drug, a chemotherapy regimen, or a rehabilitation plan. But we don’t really need to ask that any longer about the Affordable Care Act. According to the latest Gallup-Healthways survey, the uninsured rate among American adults has fallen to 11.9 percent — a drop of more than 5 percentage points since the end of 2013, which was right before coverage began through the ACA’s health care Marketplaces.

While it is exciting enough to see the uninsured rate for American adults fall by nearly one-third, it is even more exciting to see that the groups most likely to lack insurance — low-income Americans, Latinos, young adults and African Americans — have seen the most change under the law. The good folks at Gallup-Healthways haven’t broken down their data by gender, but we do know that 54 percent of Marketplace enrollees are women — which tells us that many of the individuals with new coverage are likely to be women.

Read more... Add new comment