We’re Facing a Maternity Leave Crisis

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The United States is facing an epidemic with devastating consequences for mothers and infants. According to a new report, nearly one in four mothers, most of them low-wage, may be returning to work within two weeks of giving birth. Many others who take more time to heal and bond with their babies are facing financial […]

The Forgotten Heroine of Social Security

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Today marks the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act, and no doubt President Franklin D. Roosevelt will be celebrated as a visionary leader who helped spare millions of working Americans from poverty in their old age. We should also pay tribute to Frances Perkins, a largely forgotten heroine of the FDR era, who […]

Mission Possible—And Necessary and Long Overdue

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If we listened to corporate lobbyists and conservative politicians, we’d spend our time dodging imaginary chunks of falling sky. Make sure all workers can earn paid sick days? Higher wages and equal pay? Protections for pregnant workers and an insurance fund so they and their partners have income when they give birth? Affordable, quality care […]

Detroit: The Road to Bankruptcy Hits Women Hard

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I live in Los Angeles now, but I am a native Detroiter–a proud daughter of a great city. So I have watched my hometown’s long, downhill slide with sadness. Years of political corruption, corporate welfare, apathy, outsourcing, downsizing and relocating finally reached a boiling point, and the city filed for bankruptcy in July. Residents fed […]

Labor Day Reminder: Gender Discrimination Hurts Women AND the Economy

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Thanks to recent Supreme Court cases, proving gender-based harassment and discrimination is a lot harder. Maybe the decisions wouldn’t be so distressing if gender discrimination in the workplace had suddenly disappeared. But as two new studies show, it remains pervasive and widespread. A poll by the Center for American Progress and Elle Magazine found that more […]

Feminists Are Yelling for Yellen

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Now that President Obama has made it very clear that current Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will not be reappointed in 2014, the question on every economy wonk’s mind is, Who will replace him? The front-runners are Janet Yellen, current vice-chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, and former Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers. (Some suggest […]

Should the Keishas of the World Put Karen On Their Resume?

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When white America sneezes, black America usually gets the flu. In a still sputtering economy, employment discrimination seems to be having a more blatant impact on African Americans, especially black women, who are trying to stay afloat in a cutthroat job market. This is why the unemployment rate for Americans overall is around eight percent, […]

“Work It” and the “Man-cession”

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“Work It,” an ABC sitcom about two unemployed buddies (a car salesman and a mechanic), who dress in drag in order to land jobs as pharmaceutical sales reps, premiered on Tuesday night. According the the official ABC blurb, the main characters are victims of “the man-cession:” Lee Standish is a quick-witted and likable family man. […]

Extend Unemployment Benefits, But Don’t Stop There

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Nearly 2 million Americans will see their unemployment benefits expire in January if Congress doesn’t act to renew them. Some 430,000 of these workers lost their jobs as recently as July. An extension of benefits is a basic necessity for a country in the midst of a crisis of long-term unemployment: Rates have not been […]

Public Sector Meltdown Hits Black Women the Hardest

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Middle-class black Americans are among those hardest hit by the recession, in part because they were more likely to be employed in public sector jobs, the New York Times reported on Tuesday: Though the recession and continuing economic downturn have been devastating to the American middle class as a whole, the two and a half […]