Tag Archives: Labor
Equal Work Deserves Equal Pay

Wage Discrimination Continues to Cast a Shadow

Even in 2015, equal pay for equal work for women is not a reality in the United States and it’s no different for female professional soccer players. The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) only pays its players between $6,000 and $30,000 per year, while Major League Soccer (MLS) players earn a minimum salary of $50,000 per year. These low salaries act as a serious deterrent to players starting the game. Jazmine Reeves, 2014 Rookie of the Year for the NWSL’s Boston Breakers, had to leave the world of professional soccer because she was unable to get by on her $11,000 salary (that’s less than annual earnings on the U.S. minimum wage!).
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Workers protesting low wages with a sign saying "Hard work deserves fair pay!"

Learning from the Past to Create a More Economically Just Future

In this week’s Torah portion, Devarim (and the beginning of the book of Deuteronomy), Moses begins his recounting of the Israelites’ forty-year-long journey in the wilderness from Egypt to the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 1:1-21). Moses’ reflection on the past as the Israelites’ time of wandering comes starts to end offers a timely lesson for us to take stock of where we are in our journey towards economic justice.

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dad comforting sick kid in bed

Healthy Families, Healthy Nation

This Fourth of July weekend, we gathered together to celebrate our nation’s birthday and the values for which it stands. It is clear from their writings and the way they shaped our founding documents that the Framers and revolutionaries were concerned with the most basic articulation of justice and equality (as much as the prejudices of the time and of their lives would allow). Throughout American history, we’ve expanded and nuanced those rights, recognizing that laws about justice and equality touch even family life and workplaces. So, this early July as we celebrate the United States, we also celebrate state-level laws that are taking effect. Earlier this month, Connecticut’s paid sick days law, as well as laws in California, Massachusetts and in Eugene, Oregon are being implemented.

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Paid Leave Laws Support All Working Parents, Including Dads!

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.

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Burrito Bowls and Paid Sick Days

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.

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A Glimpse into Hunger

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…

Sign reading "no more low wages"

Paving the Way for a Minimum Wage Increase

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.

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Sign reading "no more low wages"

Continuing the Momentum to Raise The Wage

On Tuesday, the country’s second largest city, Los Angeles, voted to raise its minimum wage from its current wage of $9 an hour to $15 an hour by 2020. This raise will impact over 40% of the city’s workforce, which is currently earning less than $15 an hour. This increase passed with a vote of 14-1 in the City Council and exemplifies the momentum that is being felt around the country along with local efforts to raise the minimum wage. Seattle, Chicago, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, San Diego, San Francisco and Oakland have all had recent minimum wage increases. In addition, there are proposals on the docket in Louisville, Washington, D.C., New York City, Kansas City, Missouri, and Portland, Maine.

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