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Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Director of Research and Policy Analysis

Katherine Gallagher Robbins

Katherine Gallagher Robbins is Director of Research and Policy Analysis at the National Women's Law Center. She oversees the Center's research with a primary focus on women's economic security and educational equity. Dr. Gallagher Robbins holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a BA in Government from the College of William and Mary. Before attending graduate school she worked as an organizer for the California Public Interest Research Group at the University of California, San Diego.

My Take

Five Reasons to Raise the Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers

Did you know that in most states, when you tip your waitress, you’re actually paying her wages?

That’s because the federal minimum wage law allows employers of tipped workers to pay them as little as $2.13 per hour (the “tipped minimum cash wage”), and count your tips to fulfill their obligation to pay their workers the minimum wage. While employers are legally required to make up the difference between $2.13 and the regular minimum wage if tips fall short, studies show [PDF] that all too often employers don’t do this. This is particularly a problem for women, who are two-thirds of tipped workers.


Underpaid, Overloaded, and Overrepresented: Findings from NWLC's New Report on Women in Low-Wage Jobs

There are 20 million low-wage workers in the United States — and two-thirds of them are women. 

Unless women have a bachelor's degree, they are overrepresented in low-wage jobs. 

Even in low-wage jobs, women working full time, year round make just 87 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn. 

These are some of the findings in National Women’s Law Center’s new report Underpaid & Overloaded: Women in Low-Wage Jobs, which analyzes the low-wage workforce (people working in jobs that pay $10.10 per hour or less). The report is full of new data, which you can also explore in our new interactive graphic and map. It also has solutions for how we can lighten the load for low-wage workers.


The Minimum Wage Goes Up in D.C. and California Today

Posted by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Director of Research and Policy Analysis | Posted on: July 01, 2014 at 01:43 pm

Good news for minimum wage workers in Washington, D.C. and California—they just got a raise.

In D.C. the minimum wage increased to $9.50 per hour, up from $8.25. It is scheduled to hit $11.50 per hour in July 2016 and increase with inflation after that.

This increase is good news for women, who are about six in ten minimum wage workers in the District. And while $9.50 per hour isn’t nearly enough, a mom with two children who works full-time, year-round for the minimum wage now, finally, makes enough to be above the poverty line.

Unfortunately not all minimum wage workers in D.C. can celebrate today—the cash wage for tipped workers was not raised by in the legislation passed last January, meaning the cash wage for tipped workers in D.C.—about half of whom are women—remains a shockingly low $2.77 per hour.


Five Facts about Working Mothers for Mother's Equal Pay Day

Hallmark doesn’t make a card to give mothers on June 12th – but they should. June 12th is Mother’s Equal Pay Day—the day that marks how far mothers have to work into this year (in addition to working all of last year) to earn as much as fathers did last year alone.


Nearly 1 in 5 Working Mothers With Young Children Work In Low-Wage Jobs

Posted by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Director of Research and Policy Analysis | Posted on: April 30, 2014 at 11:29 am

We all know it is tough to be a working mom with young children – but a new NWLC analysis shows that some moms face particular challenges as breadwinners and caregivers.  They work in low-wage jobs, so it’s difficult to earn enough to meet children’s basic needs, such as a home in a sa Read more...