WE - Women Employed

In This Issue
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We're Hungry for Change
Tell Us What You Think
She Says: Samantha F.
Support Fair Pay
Just the Facts
Newsbyte
PolicyWatch
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The Working Lunch

May 19, 2011
Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park
  
Don't miss keynote speaker Donna Brazile! Get Your Tickets. 
Just the Facts
 
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The likelihood of being classified as working poor greatly diminishes as workers attain higher levels of education. Among college graduates, 2.1 percent of those who were in the labor force for at least 27 weeks were classified as working poor, compared with 20.3 percent of those with less than a high school diploma.
WE Newsbyte
 
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PolicyWatch
 
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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act makes it easier for breastfeeding mothers to return to work. The bill includes a provision that requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide unpaid lactation breaks for up to a year after a child's birth, as well as a clean, private place other than a bathroom for nursing mothers to pump.

Many states provide more protection. The National Conference of State Legislators has a summary of state laws that protect breastfeeding women at work. If you feel your rights have been violated, you can contact the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, at www.wagehour.dol.gov or 1-866-487-9243.
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From Anne's Desk:
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The Working Lunch 2011"Hungry for Change" is the theme of The Working Lunch this year, reminding all of our activists and supporters that change doesn't just happen -- we have to want it enough to work for it. And we know big changes are possible when concerned individuals stand up together. There are exciting opportunities right now to win changes for the millions of women who struggle in low-paying jobs. With your support and involvement, we can capitalize on those opportunities to enable more women to succeed in higher education and make their workplace conditions better.
  
Supporting The Working Lunch on May 19th is one way you can help. We hope to see you there to hear from Donna Brazile, who is herself a real force for change. We know that you'll be inspired and energized for the work ahead. If you can't join us that day, please make a contribution or get in on our terrific raffle. Your investment at any level will pay off for low-paid working women. As always, thanks for staying informed and taking action!
    
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Anne Ladky, Executive Director

Share Your Memories on Facebook!
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FacebookTell us what you think! Share your favorite moment from a past luncheon, tell us why you're excited to attend The Working Lunch this year, or let us know why you're 'Hungry for Change' for working women. 

She Says...
 
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Samantha FerreyraAs part of our Clear Connections Project (CCP), WE recently highlighted Black Hawk College's Early Alert Program, which encourages faculty members to reach out to students who are struggling. Samantha Ferreyra is a program participant.

 

How did you get involved in the Early Alert program?
My teacher noticed I was missing some days in school, so she entered me into the program, and a counselor gave me a call. The counselor helped me to see that even though I wasn't doing as well as I wanted to, I could get back on track.
  
Did the program help you?
Definitely. I probably wouldn't have reached out to an advisor on my own, but my teacher took the time to reach out to me, and that got me to come in. It was good to hear that the teachers care about me and want to see me succeed. I know people who have dropped out of classes because they didn't think they could pass, but my advisor helped me see that I could communicate with my teachers and work out a plan to get back on track.
  
How are you doing now?
I'm doing better in school now. I just needed that little push to get my grades up, and then I saw that I didn't have to do the whole semester over.

 
Hundreds Rally for Fair Pay
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Equal Pay Day Rally
On April 12th, hundreds of advocates gathered in Daley Plaza in support of Equal Pay Day. Women still make, on average, just 77 cents to a man's dollar, and Equal Pay Day represents how far into the new year a woman must work to catch up to a man's earnings from the previous year.  Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, Doris Moy of the Illinois Department of Labor, and Evelyn Murphy of The WAGE Project fired up the crowd to fight for fair pay. See photos from the rally.

In honor of Equal Pay Day, the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) was re-introduced in both the House and Senate. The PFA would protect workers who share salary information from employer retaliation, place greater responsibility on employers to show that wage differences are not gender-related, and give victims of gender pay discrimination enhanced remedies. The bill was blocked in the Senate last year, and passing it this time could be a challenge, so tell your legislators to support the PFA.

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WE - Women Employed
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