Two-Thirds of Benefits from Improved Tax Credits for Working Families Go to Women and Their Families
This fact sheet explains why, when Congress considers changes to the tax code, a key priority should be making improvements in tax credits for working families permanent.
D.C. Employees and Students Deserve Protection Against Discrimination, Not Congressional Interference
Representative Diane Black (R-TN) and Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) have introduced resolutions that would disapprove two District of Columbia laws recently passed by the D.C. Council. The disapproval resolutions – H.J. Res. 43 and 44 – would block laws aimed at protecting women and their families and LGBT students in the District of Columbia from harsh discrimination at work and school.
States Take Action to Stop Bosses’ Religious Beliefs from Trumping Women’s Reproductive Health Care Decisions
Across the country, employers are using their religious beliefs to discriminate against their employees because they disagree with their employees’ personal reproductive health care decisions. Women are being punished, threatened, or fired for using birth control, for undergoing in vitro fertilization in order to get pregnant, or for having sex without being married. It is unfair that a person would be fired or discriminated against because of a decision about whether to prevent pregnancy or start a family.
Employers should not be allowed to use their personal religious beliefs to discriminate against employees, who typically come from all different faiths. Fortunately, states have begun to step forward to protect employees, introducing legislation to make it clear that bosses cannot obstruct or coerce an employee when that employee makes a personal reproductive health care decision.
Pay discrimination remains a persistent problem in the workforce. In Maryland, on average, women working full-time, year-round typically earn about 85.5 cents for every dollar earned by men. Asian American women in Maryland earn only 84.2 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men, and the situation is even worse for African American women (69.7 cents) and Latinas (46.6 cents). SB 424 and HB 1051, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, along with SB 425, the Wage Disclosure and Discussion Protection Act, would strengthen Maryland’s equal pay law and provide workers with the tools they need to combat pay discrimination and close the wage gap.
Women in the U.S. who work full time, year round are typically paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. This gap in earnings translates into $10,876 less per year in median earnings, leaving women and their families shortchanged. Although enforcement of the Equal Pay Act and civil rights laws has helped narrow the wage gap over time, addressing the significant pay disparities that remain is critical for women and their families.
The minimum wage is falling short for millions of Americans — especially for women, who represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers across the country, and at least half of minimum wage workers in every state. Use this chart to see how the states compare.
Employees increasingly face just-in-time scheduling practices, including being given very little notice of their work schedules, being sent home early when work is slow without being paid for their scheduled shifts, and being assigned to call-in shifts or on-call shifts that require them to call their employer or wait to be called by their employer, often within two hours of their potential shift, to find out whether they will be required to report to work. In addition, many employees have very little ability to make adjustments to their work schedules without penalty. More than a third of parents say they have been “passed over” for a promotion, a raise, or a new job due to a need for a flexible work schedule. Among low-wage workers, about half report having little flexibility in the hours that they work.
There is a growing movement to improve workplace scheduling practices so that workers and their families can better plan their lives. In the past year, lawmakers have introduced legislation at the federal, state and local level to respond to these difficult scheduling practices. In 2014, San Francisco passed a Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights. The Ordinance provides scheduling protections for employees in certain types of jobs. Also in 2014, Michigan introduced a bill modeled after the federal scheduling legislation that was introduced earlier that same year, the Schedules That Work Act. And in 2015, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Oregon introduced bills to curb difficult scheduling practices. This fact sheet provides an overview of this recently enacted and proposed state and local legislation.
Women overall working full time, year round in the United States are paid only 78 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts. And the wage gap is just a penny smaller for Asian American women who work full time, year round—they are paid only 79 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. This gap, which amounts to a loss of $11,153 a year, means that Asian American women have to work more than 15 months—past the beginning of April—to make as much as white, non-Hispanic men did in one year alone.
Low wages make it hard for workers to support themselves and their families, but wages are not the only problem. Low-wage jobs are often marked by work scheduling policies and practices that pose particular challenges for workers with significant responsibilities outside of their job, including caregiving, pursuing education and workforce training, or holding down a second job. Some require working nights, weekends, or even overnight, and many offer only part-time work, despite many workers’ need for full-time hours.
Women are disproportionately affected by this problem, because women both hold the majority of low-wage jobs and shoulder the majority of caregiving responsibilities. Nearly 48 percent of women in Oregon over the age of 16 are in the labor force. And especially for the nearly 176,100 women in Oregon working in low-wage jobs (earning $10.10 or less), difficult scheduling practices all too often undermine their best efforts to provide for their families.
This fact sheet outlines five of the most common scheduling challenges faced by workers in low-wage jobs and explains their prevalence and detrimental impact on workers and their families.