Women's Economic Equity
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#POWHERList: Raise the Volume on Economic Equality (Video) - The first Women's Equality Wednesday Google Hangout "#POWHERList: Raise the Volume on Economic Equality" with panelists Beverly Neufeld from NYS PowHER, Ellen Bravo from Family Values @ Work and Ana Oliveira from The New York Women's Foundation. Follow below for a highlight of tweets from during the conversation.
WOMEN AT WORK: A HISTORY
Updated February 17, 2018
- Employers who don’t offer paid sick leave are making flu season worse and hurting their own bottom line - According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 28 percent of civilian workers — about 45 million individuals — have no access to paid sick leave. When these workers get ill, they have a choice: go to work sick, or stay home and forgo pay. Because lack of paid sick time is concentrated among the lowest-income employees, millions of workers opt for the former. Multiple studies have shown that workers without access to paid sick days are more likely to go to work sick than those with it. A study published last year by researchers at the CDC found that “providing paid sick leave to workers who lack it might help decrease the number of workdays lost as a result of flu and similar illnesses by nearly 4 to 11 million per year,” resulting in an overall cost savings of $1 billion to $2 billion.
- Where Did Your Pay Raise Go? It May Have Become a Bonus - A growing preference among employers for one-time awards instead of raises that keep building over time has been quietly transforming the employment landscape for two decades. But it was accelerated by the recession’s intensity, which made employers especially cautious about increasing labor costs. This little-noticed shift in how employers compensate workers could also help explain one of the economy’s most persistent puzzles: why a hot labor market has failed to ignite bigger increases in wages.
- Restaurant Workers: Boost Pay To Combat Harassment - “Sexual harassment is standard practice in the restaurant industry where employers are willing to profit off women but won’t pay them a fair wage,” said Saru Jayaraman, President and Co-Founder of ROC United, and author of Behind the Kitchen Door: The People Who Make and Serve Your Food. “With just a small change in policy New York can make a big difference for a majority female workforce. Governor Cuomo can cut sexual harassment in half right now with one fair wage.” The hope is that if restaurant workers rely less on tips they will be less likely to have to put with misconduct by a customer.
- Banks kicking in $40M for City Hall-led minority, female business loan program - The banks, Amalgamated, Bank of America, and TD Bank, will donate the cash to two loan funds that help those businesses, often abbreviated as MWBEs, to grow and stay in business, City Hall said. Amalgamated Bank will donate $20 million to the Emerging Developer Loan Fund and Bank of America and TD Bank will each donate $10 million to the Contract Financing Loan Fund. That’s in addition to an initial investment of $20 million in city money to the funds, according to City Hall — giving MWBEs access to $60 million in revolving loan funding.
- Cuomo wants sweeping changes to NY's minority- and women-owned business law - Annual goals would be set for hiring specific minority groups on state contracts, such as "black men," "Hispanic women," "Asian men" and "Caucasian women" in each construction trade, profession and occupation. If approved by the Legislature, New York would be among the first states in the nation with workforce participation goals on government contracts for specific minority groups, according to the governor's office. Similar laws are in place at the federal level and in some cities. "This is not a quota system," said Alphonso David, chief counsel to the governor. "We're not saying to a contractor you must hire 10 women. We're saying its a goal."
- When Women in Construction Are Harassed on the Worksite - We asked men and women who work in construction or any of the building trades to tell us how gender bias and harassment play out on your work site, and how you've seen your company/union/coworkers respond. Here are some responses WNYC got.
- Gov. Cuomo announces $100M for North Country internet access - The state is awarding $103.5 million so that 100 percent of North Country residents will have broadband access. New York will provide $65.4 million and private companies and the federal government will provide the additional $38.1 million. He said not having high-speed hurts the opportunity for more economic growth. “This will fundamentally change the North Country,” Cuomo said.
- Biggest gains in union membership in 2017 were for younger workers - The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data on changes in union membership from 2016 to 2017. It was good news for workers, as the total number of union members grew by 262,000 in 2017. Three-fourths of these gains (198,000) were among workers aged 34 and under, who account for less than 40 percent of total employment.
- The Momentum for Paid Sick Days is Growing - On January 12, 2018, Maryland became the ninth state to adopt paid sick days legislation, overturning Governor Larry Hogan’s 2017 veto. The paid sick days movement has been gaining steam over the past two years. In September 2017, Rhode Island extended the benefit to 100,000 workers who don’t already have access to paid sick leave. The successes, challenges, and lessons from paid sick days victories were highlighted at CLASP’s third annual Making Paid Sick Days Work convening, which brought together over 100 advocates and state and local government officials. Participants shared best practices for ensuring all workers in their jurisdictions receive the paid sick days guaranteed by local and state laws.
- Free tax assistance programs being offered across St. Lawrence County to residents - Students and faculty from SUNY Canton's Accounting and Business programs are partnering with AARP Tax-Aide, the Potsdam Neighborhood Center, and SeaComm Federal Credit Union to offer free tax assistance at locations around the North Country.
- 'Reskilling crisis' emerging as 1.4M U.S. jobs face technology disruption - Rising technologies and socio-economic forces are expected to disrupt 1.4 million jobs in the U.S. between now and 2026, according to report from the World Economic Forum, which is meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland. The report analyzed 1,000 U.S. jobs, which account for 96% of national employment.
- Are libraries the answer to the skills gap? - With the employer community increasingly looking to state and local governments for help with the skills gap, a new proposal has emerged. Instead of creating new institutions, governments can use trusted, existing facilities like libraries to take on the role of workforce trainer, suggests Christian Conroy, a masters candidate at Georgetown University, in the Georgetown Public Policy Review. Libraries are working to remain relevant in a digital world. Could the opportunity to serve as a training center be a win-win? Engaging a partner with a technology-ready facility and a loyal constituency may very well be a no-brainer for employers hoping to create a steady stream of qualified candidates in its community.
- Under Trump Appointee, Consumer Protection Agency Seen Helping Payday Lenders - Former Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney is the interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He was appointed by President Trump amid an ongoing a power struggle for control of the bureau.
Watchdog groups are up in arms because, under Mulvaney, the CFPB has put on hold a rule that would restrict payday lenders and their high-interest-rate loans. The agency has also dropped a lawsuit against online lenders charging 900 percent interest rates. Critics say these moves are payback for campaign contributions to Mulvaney when he was a congressman representing South Carolina.
- Workplace Bullying Affects Nearly Half of US Workers - According to one 2008 study, nearly 75 percent of participants have witnessed workplace bullying at their job and 47 percent have been bullied at some point in their career. Another 27 percent said they had been bullied within the last 12 months. In a 2014 survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI), 72 percent of the respondents said that their employer either condones or encourages the behavior. In 2003, a Healthy Workplace Bill was introduced in California. Now similar bills have been introduced in more than half of the states, in over 100 versions, and have been sponsored by over 400 lawmakers. The campaign for the Healthy Workplace Bill is led by state coordinators who all start with the same bill language and recruit local volunteers to help educate lawmakers on the issue.
- Trump administration tip-stealing plan will take $4.6 billion out of women's pockets - White tipped workers would lose $3.5 billion, Latino tipped workers would lose $1.3 billion and black tipped workers would lose $480 million. Or, instead of “lose,” make that “be robbed of.” By their bosses. This isn’t a hypothetical. Tip stealing is currently illegal but it already happens all the time: “research on workers in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York found that 12 percent of tipped workers had tips stolen from them by their employer or supervisor.” What do you think happens when it becomes legal?
- The Working Woman’s Pocket Guide: A Better Balance’s Guide to Knowing Your Rights as a Working Woman in New York - The guide provides a user-friendly way for women to understand their rights in the workplace, from sexual harassment to equal pay to paid family leave to healthcare coverage, and much more! It also includes tips and resources to turn to if women believe their rights have been violated.
- Study shows 31 million people believe they will die in credit card debt - According to CreditCards.com, 31 million people believe they'll die in debt. This comes as credit debt in the U.S. is reaching record highs. Last week, the Federal Reserve reported that revolving credit jumped 13 percent in November. Analysts say the rise in credit card use is a sign of growing consumer confidence.
- Retirement crisis: 37% of Gen X say they won't be able to afford to retire - Nearly four out of 10 (37%) of Generation X — those born between 1965 and the late 1970s — say they would like to stop working for good and "fully retire" someday, "but will not be able to afford to," a new survey from TD Ameritrade, an online broker based in Omaha, found. Other gloomy Gen X retirement findings:
- 43% say "they are behind" in their savings.
- Half (49%) are "worried about running out of money" once they leave the workforce.
- Nearly two out of 10 (17%) say they "aren't saving or investing for anything."
- Only a third expect to be "very secure" in retirement — vs. nearly half of Baby Boomers.
- ‘Forget About the Stigma’: Male Nurses Explain Why Nursing Is a Job of the Future for Men - The experiences of male nurses offer lessons that could help address a problem of our time: how to prepare workers for the fastest-growing jobs, at a time when more than a quarter of adult men are not in the labor force. Nursing is no paragon of gender equality: Even though men are a minority, they are paid more than women.
- The Gig Economy May Strengthen the 'Invisible Advantage' Men Have at Work - My own research looks at how the burgeoning gig economy – in which jobs are short-term or freelance rather than permanent – affects gender and other forms of labor discrimination. A study we recently conducted with colleagues at the Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies in Argentina suggests an increasingly freelance workforce may make the problem of male privilege even worse. In the hypercompetitive, fast-paced world of online labor, hiring and wages are determined on the basis of little verifiable information about each individual worker. These conditions favor the activation of stereotypes about “appropriate” jobs for women, their productivity and their willingness to bargain. Further, as traditional worker-employer relations are replaced by peer-to-peer transactions on a global scale, the application of anti-discrimination labor law becomes challenging.
- - What wealthy people know that most Americans don’t: Tax cuts for truly wealthy people increase their income and wealth; tax cuts for working people actually decrease their income and wealth over time. A 25% cut in taxes on working people will give a short-term boost to paychecks, but over a period of a few years it’ll mean working people’s before-tax wages will drop by about 25%.
- On New Year's Day, Many Low-Wage Workers Will Celebrate With A Raise - As of New Year's Day, workers in the following states can expect a round of raises: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington. Those states already meet or exceed the federal minimum wage, so these new raises will push up the bottom even higher. For example, in Ohio, the state minimum wage is $8.15 an hour. After Jan. 1, it will be $8.30.
- Raising the minimum wage in Britain has been a huge benefit to workers — and employers are largely unharmed - "The introduction of the National Living Wage has had a minimal impact to date on most big retailers' profits," according to analysts Amy Curry and Geoff Ruddell, even though the rising minimum wage requirement "has driven up hourly pay rates in the retail industry by [about] 10%." The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, covering the year through April 2017 (and published in October 2017) showed that pay for the poorest workers rose 3.2% in the most recent period, while inflation was at 2.6% — thus delivering a real wage increase to the lowest-paid employees.
- Five Workplace Issues We’ll Be Talking About In 2018 - In a year filled with hot-button issues, we look forward to seeing where 2018 will take our workplace conversations. Here is a look at some of the more significant trends that will continue to dominate the conversation around work in 2018.
- Unequal Pay
- Workplace Harassment
- Generation Inclusion - This year marked the first for generation Z’s college graduates to enter the workforce full-time, creating a varied quilt of employees in the fabric of the U.S. workforce.
- Flexible, Remote, and Freelance Work
- Robots and AI
- "American Dream is rapidly becoming American Illusion," warns UN rights expert on poverty - The United States is one of the world’s richest, most powerful and technologically innovative countries; but neither its wealth nor its power nor its technology is being harnessed to address the situation in which 40 million people continue to live in poverty.
- Schedules That Work for Working Families - Unfair scheduling practices include unpredictable and unstable work schedules, as well as a lack of worker control over schedules. These practices—which are particularly common in low-wage jobs—often leave workers unable to balance work and family responsibilities and struggling to make ends meet when schedules and paychecks change with little notice from week to week. These unfair practices also affect the health and economic security of workers and their families, harm employee morale, and may increase the likelihood of sexual harassment. By encouraging policies that set a minimum standard around fair scheduling, policymakers can ensure that America's workers, families, and economy can continue to make progress.
- Healthcare Insecurities Keep Workers Locked in Jobs - Last year, 180 million Americans got their healthcare from their jobs. While this may seem like a great employment perk, millions don't seek new opportunities because they're afraid to go without benefits. Today we have an insurance system split largely in two — about 1 on 4 Americans receive either Medicare or Medicaid, while more than half get their care through their jobs.
- Two billion dollars in stolen wages were recovered for workers in 2015 and 2016—and that’s just a drop in the bucket - Given that wage theft disproportionately affects workers from low-income households—who are already struggling to make ends meet—the loss of wages can be devastating. And these recovery numbers likely dramatically underrepresent the pervasiveness of wage theft—it has been estimated that low-wage workers lose more than $50 billion annually to wage theft. Regardless of what share of actual wage theft the recovery numbers represent, these data are one more reminder that wage theft is not isolated to a few bad employers, but affects workers much more broadly.
- Employers would pocket $5.8 billion of workers’ tips under Trump administration’s proposed ‘tip stealing’ rule - With that much illegal tip theft currently taking place, it’s clear that when employers can legally pocket the tips earned by their employees, many will. And although the bulk of tipped workers are in restaurants, tipped workers outside the restaurant industry—such as nail salon workers, casino dealers, barbers, and hairstylists—could also see their bosses start taking a cut from their tips.
- Cuomo Plans Hearings On Tipped Wage Workers - The hearings are among the proposals Cuomo will spell out in his 2018 State of the State agenda, which his office has been rolling out in recent days. Tipped wage workers earn less than the state’s current minimum wage, which is set to increase to $12 from $11 in New York City at the end of the year. In the metropolitan suburban counties, the wage will grow to $11 and all other counties it will increase to $10.40.
- Wages remain mostly stagnant despite unemployment hitting new lows - But as the unemployment rate has dipped to a 17-year-low of 4.1 percent and firms nationwide struggle to fill vacancies, workers aren’t seeing the pay increases that were supposed to come with what analysts call the strongest labor market in two decades. Workers’ average hourly earnings grew by 5 cents in November to $26.55 — part of an overall increase of 2.5 percent since the same period last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. That’s a growth rate that lags significantly behind pre-recession levels, when year-over-year wage increases exceeded 4 percent.
- Proposed rule would protect employers who steal workers’ hard-earned tips - The Department of Labor released a proposed rule rescinding portions of its tip regulations, including current restrictions on “tip pooling”—which would mean that, for example, restaurants would be able to pool the tips servers receive and share them with untipped employees such as cooks and dishwashers. But, crucially, the rule doesn’t actually require that employers distribute pooled tips to workers. Under the administration’s proposed rule, as long as the tipped workers earn minimum wage, the employer can legally pocket those tips.
- Living in Cars, Working for Amazon: Meet America's New Nomads - Millions of Americans are wrestling with the impossibility of a traditional middle-class existence. In the widening gap between credits and debits hangs a question: which bits of this life are you willing to give up, so you can keep on living?
- New law requires study of schedule flexibility for state workers - The idea here is that though state agencies are not required to provide flexible work arrangements for employees, detailing on regular basis how flexible schedules might work at agencies and for some employees is a step toward the state implementing such schedules when needed. Flexible work plans still couldn’t be implemented for unionized employees unless agreed to at the collective bargaining table, however.
- Automation could kill 73 million U.S. jobs by 2030 - “The dire predictions that robots are going to take our jobs are overstated,” says Susan Lund, the group’s director of research and co-author of the study. “There will be enough jobs for everyone in most sectors.” Yet maintaining full employment will require a huge overhaul of the economy and labor market that rivals or exceeds the nation’s massive shifts from agriculture- and manufacturing-dominated societies over the past 165 years, the report says.
- What’s the point of sexual harassment training? Often, to protect employers. - Unfortunately, there is little evidence that training reduces sexual harassment. Rather, training programs, along with anti-harassment policies and reporting procedures, do more to shield employers from liability than to protect employees from harassment. And the clearest message they send is to the courts: Nothing to see here, folks. There have been only a handful of empirical studies of sexual harassment training, and the research has not established that such training is effective. Some studies suggest that training may in fact backfire, reinforcing gendered stereotypes that place women at a disadvantage.
- Worker rights preemption in the USA map of the campaign to suppress worker rights in the states - EPI released an interactive map that paints a disturbing picture of the rise of anti-worker preemption laws across the country. The map shows which states have blocked cities and counties from improving workers’ wages and working conditions. Workers in St. Louis, for example, got a boost when the city increased its minimum wage to $10—but the Missouri state legislature knocked it back down to $7.70 and 31,000 workers lost a raise. The map plots preemption activity in five key areas of labor and employment: minimum wage, paid leave, fair work schedules, prevailing wage, and project labor agreements.
- This is the hidden financial cost of being an LGBTQ American in 2017 - Whether or not you’re married, navigating the already-tricky obstacle course of a career often comes with additional hurdles if you are gay, transgender or gender nonconforming: 28 states still lack protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, and research suggests nearly 1 in 10 workers have left jobs because of unwelcoming cultures. There are quantifiable gaps in employment rates and pay based on sexuality. And for LGBTQ women or people of color, income and employment challenges may widen already large wage gaps driven by gender or race.
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