This Father’s Day, when we take some time to celebrate the fathers in our lives, be they our dads, grandpas, uncles, brothers, cousins or friends, we thank these fathers for everything they do for their families. This special time of year is also an opportunity to reflect on fatherhood today and the challenges facing working parents.
Earlier this month, we applauded the reintroduction of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, or PWFA (S. 1512/H.R. 2654). The bill would require employers to reasonably accommodate pregnant employees’ health needs—if the employer can do so without undue hardship—allowing pregnant workers to continue to work to earn wages and benefits. Although PWFA has been reintroduced many times in the past, this is the first time in its history that the bill has bipartisan support! Senators Ayotte (R-NH) and Heller (R-NV) joined Senators Casey (D-PA) and Shaheen (D-NH) as lead sponsors, helping to lead the way in support of pregnant workers. This bipartisan co-sponsorship is exciting progress, meaning PWFA has a much stronger chance of moving forward in this Congress. Read more…
This week in Congress, the House voted approved the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) funding bill for Fiscal Year 2016, which passed 216-210. Though the bill prioritizes federal rental assistance, the bill cuts funds that would repair and maintain public housing by $194 million. Since the public housing programs already have an over $26 billion repair backlog, these cuts are especially devastating.
Earlier this week, Chipotle announced that starting on July 1, 2015, the fast casual chain will give all its workers paid sick days, paid vacation, and tuition reimbursement. This benefit will also be extended to part-time and hourly workers. The Reform Movement strongly advocates for paid sick days, and the URJ is proud to offer paid sick days to its employees.
By Karen Wallace Lipson
Most of us go an entire lifetime never feeling real hunger. Rather, we learn about the catastrophic impact hunger has on the human body and spirit, and understand intellectually that the present and future are ‘bleak’ for millions who lack enough to eat.
If we never suffer from hunger or food insecurity, there is no way for us to know entirely how it feels. To experience desperation, one must lack any safety net or escape route, a scenario that cannot be artificially created. Having, but choosing not to use available resources, is totally different from lacking any at all. Read more…
48.8 million Americans—including 16.2 million children— live in households that are food insecure. In particular, food insecurity is especially present in communities of color. Nearly one in four (24%) Latino households are food insecure and over than one in four Latino children (30%) live in food insecure households. In addition, of the top 10 US counties with the highest child food-insecurity rates for children, three are majority Hispanic counties. Hunger also disproportionately impacts African American communities. One in four (25 percent) African American households are food insecure and African American households are over two times as likely to be food insecure as white, non-Hispanic households. Further, counties with majority African American populations are disproportionately represented among the top 10 percent of counties that have the highest rates of food insecurity.
This morning, we welcomed the reintroduction of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, key legislation to ensure pregnant workers have the workplace protections they deserve. Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center, issued the following statement to celebrate the bill’s reintroduction: Read more…
Raising the minimum wage is central to ensuring our society is one of economic justice. This is why efforts to raise the wage are being forged to on local, state and the national level.
In fact, states and localities are leading the federal government in raising the wage, to amounts significantly higher than the current federal level of $7.25/hour. Although there have been some setbacks, these successful campaigns to raise the wage are creating the momentum we need to give hardworking citizens across the country a higher baseline wage.