Testimony of Liz Watson
Senior Counsel and Director of Workplace Justice for Women
National Women’s Law Center
Before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Member Forum on the Impact of Irregular Schedules
June 4, 2015
Ranking Member Scott and Congresswoman DeLauro, thank you for holding this forum to discuss the need for schedule fairness and for all of your work to address the difficult working conditions facing low-wage workers.
My name is Liz Watson and I am Senior Counsel and Director of Workplace Justice for Women at the National Women’s Law Center. The Center is dedicated to removing barriers to opportunity for women, who make up two-thirds of low-wage workers. For too long, some employers have used just-in-time scheduling to match workers’ schedules as tightly as possible to variations in consumer demand. These employers provide work schedules only a day or two in advance, require on-call shifts where workers find out whether they have to report to work with only a couple of hours’ notice, send workers home when work is slow without paying them for their scheduled shifts, and punish workers who put any limits on their availability.
The National Women's Law Center filed comments with the Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce regarding a proposal to reduce the frequency with which questions pertaining to marital status were asked on the American Community Survey.
The Center is filing friend of the court briefs in lawsuits challenging the federal contraceptive coverage benefit, brought by employers who want to deny their employees this important benefit. These cases involve suits brought under the First Amendment to the US Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. These cases will decide whether a boss’s religious beliefs trump women’s health and women’s access to the health care they need.
The National Women’s Law Center testified before the Council of the District of Columbia Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulartory Affairs in support of adequate funding to implement the Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act ensures that pregnant workers in the District of Columbia may no longer be forced to choose between their health and their jobs. But without sufficient funding for public education, outreach and enforcement, the law cannot fulfill its promise of ensuring that women can continue working safely during pregnancy.
The National Women’s Law Center submitted testimony in Support of California Assembly Bill 357, the Fair Scheduling Act. This bill provides crucial protections from difficult scheduling practices that undermine workers’ ability to provide for themselves and their families. These protections are particularly important to women, who make up nearly 62 percent of California’s low-wage workforce, where difficult scheduling practices are most common.
The National Women’s Law Center testified before the Minnestoa Senate Committee on Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development in Support of Senate Bill 1330, the Fair Scheduling Act. The Fair Scheduling Act provides crucial protections from difficult scheduling practices that undermine workers’ ability to provide for themselves and their families. These protections are particularly important to women, who make up 68 percent of Minnesota’s low-wage workforce, where difficult scheduling practices are most common.
Today the National Women’s Law Center submitted testimony to the members of the Oregon House Business and Labor Committee in support of House Bill 3377. The Center urges support for this bill which provides crucial protections from difficult scheduling practices that undermine workers’ ability to provide for themselves and their families. These protections are particularly important to women, who make up nearly 65 percent of the 271,200 workers in Oregon’s low-wage workforce, where difficult scheduling practices are most common.
Testimony of Joan Entmacher Before the House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Human Resources
Invited testimony by Joan Entmacher presents key statistics showing how public programs lift millions of Americans out of poverty, and the major gaps that exist in these safety net and work support programs.
The National Women’s Law Center joined the American Civil Liberties Union, Legal Momentum, and other civil rights advocates as amici curiae on a brief filed with the D.C. Circuit in support of the Department of Labor (DOL) in Home Care Association of America vs. Weil.
Testimony of Fatima Goss Graves
Vice President for Education & Employment
National Women’s Law Center
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
Economic Security for Working Women: A Roundtable Discussion
May 20, 2014
Thank you for the opportunity to speak today on behalf of the National Women’s Law Center on the critical issue of economic security for working women. The National Women’s Law Center has been working since 1972 to secure and defend women’s legal rights. We advance the issues that cut to the core of women’s lives in education, employment, family and economic security, and health and reproductive rights—with special attention given to the needs of low-income women and their families. We believe that ending all forms of workplace discrimination is crucial to removing barriers to women’s economic opportunity.