Tag Archives: Economic Justice
Equal Work Deserves Equal Pay

On Equal Pay Day, the March for Women’s Equality Continues On

This post originally appeared on WRJ Blog.

Today, on Equal Pay Day, we mark how far into this year women would have to work to earn what men did last year.

The road to equal pay has been long. Within the Reform Movement, as in secular society, this fight began with the fight for equal participation. In the years following the foundational Pittsburgh Platform of 1885, this struggle for equal participation centered on women’s role in synagogue life. Women sought, and slowly won, the right to serve on their synagogue’s board of trustees, seeking to bring their dedication and leadership within the synagogue community onto its governing body. On a national level, the National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, now Women of Reform Judaism, fought for representation on the Board of Trustees of the Union for American Hebrew Congregations. Read more…

dad comforting sick kid in bed

At Consultation: Economic Justice Means Paid Sick Days

At the Consultation on Conscience on April 26-28, 2015, you will have the opportunity to learn about and take action on paid sick days by asking your members of Congress to support the Healthy Families Act (S. 497/H.R. 932).

Over 40 million Americans do not currently have access to paid sick days, and we need to pass the Healthy Families Act to ensure that more people do not have to make the difficult choice between going to work and caring for a sick loved one, or for themselves.

This legislation would allow workers in businesses with at least 15 employees to earn up to seven days of job-protected paid sick leave each year. Workers would earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. People working in a business with fewer than 15 employees would be able to earn up to seven job-protected days of unpaid sick leave annually.

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A family enjoys a meal around a table. The US Department of Agriculture has just released a report demonstrating that SNAP (formerly food stamps) can play a major role in fighting poverty, especially among children.

SNAP to It: Time to End Food Insecurity

Now that it is Passover, boxes of matzah are abundant in the RAC office. Jews around the world are eating matzah instead of leavened bread to remember how the Jewish were slaves in the land of Egypt. Although matzah may not be the most delicious food, we are lucky to be able to eat something of substance at all.

Under the current budget debates, there is risk that many of the food programs that we care about so deeply will have their funding slashed. The House budget also has major impacts on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides nourishment for those living in poverty. The House plans to turn SNAP into a block grant block-grant and cut SNAP funds by $125 billion, or over one third, from 2021 to 2025. Further, “block-granting” SNAP would force states to make deep cuts to food assistance programs, and the benefit cuts would especially impact low-income workers, families with children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

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"The Gay Agenda: 1. Equality 2. See Item 1"

Family and Medical Leave Denied to Same-Sex Couples in Non-Marriage Equality States

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law 22 years ago to allow workers to take a maximum 12 weeks unpaid time off of work to care for a new child (including adopted and foster children); care for a sick child; act as a caregiver for a parent; address personal serious health concerns; and care for wounded service members. After the decision in United States v. Windsor, in which the part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defining marriage as between a man and a woman for federal purposes was struck down, the Department of Labor announced that FMLA would apply to eligible employees in same-sex marriages if the employee resided in a state that recognized their marriage. Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center, submitted comments last August to the Department of Labor in support of this change when it was proposed.

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Equal pay protest

Gearing Up for Equal Pay Day

On April 14, we celebrate Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day in the new year until which women would have to work to earn what their male counterparts earned in the previous year. In the United States today, women on average earn 78 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. Women of color face an even greater disparity, with African American and Latina women earning an average of 64 and 54 cents on the dollar, respectively. The gender wage gap persists at all levels of education, within occupations and across industries. The pervasiveness of this disparity indicates that deeply embedded pay discrimination, rather than women’s occupational decisions, is responsible for the injustice of pay inequity. Read more…

March Jobs Reports Shows Need For More Work on Economic Justice Issues

On the first Friday of every month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its monthly report, which details the unemployment rate, the number of jobs that the economy added by month, and other pieces of information about the economy. The reports serve as important measures of the economy’s status. They also affect financial markets and are sometimes used to reflect the current administration’s effectiveness on economic issues.

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President Obama's budget documents

A Faithful Budget to Help Our Most Vulnerable

As people of faith, we advocate for a moral budget that protects the key programs that lift so many Americans out of poverty each year. Now that Congress is in recess, we have time to reflect on the many different budget proposals, and where they currently stand in the process.

The budgets that the House and the Senate Budget Committees each adopted on March 19 each cut over $3 trillion over ten years (from 2016-2025) from programs that impact our most vulnerable.

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Girls in 1909 protesting slavery in Yiddish and English

The Modern Plagues of Inequality

On Passover, we remember the ten plagues that were put upon the Egyptian people. Thousands of years later, modern-day plagues of inequality should ignite contemporary responses to combat these injustices. Many of the most vulnerable members of our society are disproportionately affected; they cannot be “passed over” or ignored, especially during this important holiday. As we think about the ancient plagues, let us also keep in mind those who still live under the weight of modern plagues.

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