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Women and the Minimum Wage State by State

Today NWLC released new analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 data, featuring an interactive map that shows the share of minimum wage workers in each state who are women, tracks state-level developments in minimum wage legislation, and highlights data on the minimum wage and the wage gap in a state-by-state chart.

Here are some of the top highlights from the new data:

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Surprise! Slashing Funding Limits Reproductive Health Care Access

Posted by Kelli Garcia, Senior Counsel | Posted on: May 18, 2015 at 04:03 pm

The Texas Evaluation Policy project released a new study [PDF] finding that many Texas women struggle to access and pay for reproductive health care, including cervical cancer screening and birth control. The researchers looked at women’s access to reproductive health care, beginning in 2011 when the Texas legislature slashed state funding for family planning and rejected federal funding for the women’s health program. Since 2011, 76 women’s health clinics have closed, leaving many women without nearby care.

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Good News for Military Servicemembers Who Use Birth Control

Posted by Leila Abolfazli, Senior Counsel | Posted on: May 15, 2015 at 03:33 pm

The House of Representatives and Senate are currently working on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bill that provides funds for the military. The bill includes provisions that support the health care needs for members of the Armed Services and their dependents.

This year, the House and Senate versions of the bill include provisions that would improve women servicemembers’ access to birth control. It provides for comprehensive counseling and education about contraception. And, the House bill would ensure a woman servicemember has access to the birth control she needs at all times, particularly when she is deployed.

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Another Week, Another Bad Vote on Women's Health

Posted by Leila Abolfazli, Senior Counsel | Posted on: May 14, 2015 at 10:44 am

Back in January of this year, the House of Representatives was all set to vote on H.R. 36, a nationwide ban on abortions at twenty weeks. But a slight hiccup forced them to abandon the bill and instead vote on another really bad bill that would ban virtually all insurance coverage of abortion.

What was the hiccup, you ask? Did they realize that women have a constitutional right to abortion and H.R. 36 would violate that right? Or did they suddenly wake up, remember they aren't medical experts and conclude that they shouldn't meddle with such private, reproductive health decisions?

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Covered Through a Parent's Plan? Your Prenatal Services are Covered

Posted by Dania Palanker, Senior Counsel | Posted on: May 12, 2015 at 03:35 pm

The Obama Administration gave expectant moms a belated mother’s day gift. Guidance issued yesterday clarifies that new insurance plans must cover preventive prenatal services without cost sharing for all dependents — including expectant mothers enrolled on a parent’s plan. This is great news for expectant mothers who discover once they are pregnant that they don’t have maternity coverage under their parent’s plan.

What New Plans Must Cover

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Care Work is Real Work — And Must Be Compensated as Such

Posted by Agata Pelka, Fellow | Posted on: May 11, 2015 at 10:48 am

Thursday morning, the D.C. Circuit heard oral arguments in Home Care Association of America vs. Weil, the Department of Labor’s appeal of a district court decision vacating central provisions of new regulations extending basic protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)—like minimum wage and overtime pay—to nearly two million home care workers.

Shortly after the arguments, workers and advocates gathered on the front steps of the courthouse for a press conference to put the case in context and to bring forward the stories of the workers and the families seeking home care who will be affected by the case. Workers spoke about the struggle to care for their patients while barely being able to make ends meet for their own families. Wages in the field are low: one quarter of workers are paid below the federal minimum wage, and the median wage is below $10 an hour. On top of that, home care workers are not ensured overtime pay like other hourly workers under the FLSA. Paula Wilson, a home care worker, spoke about the close relationships she forms with her consumers, and how she will often stay longer with them when they are going through periods of stress or aggravated illness but will not be compensated for that time. She emphasized that home care is not a profession where you can just clock out at the end of the day—but that the current system exploits workers for their compassion, instead of fairly compensating them for improving the quality of care that patients receive.

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Everyone Should Have a Fair Shot As the Economy Rebounds

Posted by Anne Morrison, Fellow | Posted on: May 08, 2015 at 03:54 pm

Our analysis of today’s release of April’s jobs data shows that while overall job growth was strong, unemployment rates for Black women and men remained disturbingly high. In addition, women gained just 30 percent of the jobs added last month. While the economy rebounds, lawmakers need to make sure everyone has a fair shot.

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Critical Services for At-Risk Girls in D.C. Are At Risk Themselves

If you live in Washington, D.C., listen up: we’ve got a special alert for you! The D.C City Council has proposed to eliminate from its budget all funding for Crittenton Services of Greater Washington. That’s $700,000 that currently helps to empower and enable teen girls in DC to stay in school, avoid unwanted pregnancy, earn a diploma, and go on to college and careers. That $700,000 currently supports programs for nearly 250 at-risk girls in D.C. public schools. Without this funding, Crittenton will have to close the doors of its D.C. programs.

You can help to keep that from happening. The City Council’s Health and Human Services Committee is set to vote on its budget legislation this Monday, May 11. Now’s the time to raise your voice and make sure these programs can continue to help teen girls work toward their goals.

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