Women’s Law Project Commends Groundbreaking State Legislative Initiative
To Improve Women’s Health
Harrisburg, PA – The Women’s Law Project and its civic engagement action arm, WomenVote PA, commend the Women’s Health Caucus, a bipartisan, bicameral caucus of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, as it unveils the first phase of a comprehensive Pennsylvania Agenda for Women’s Health. Led by Representative Dan Frankel and Senators Judy Schwank and Chuck McIlhinney, the Caucus is taking a proactive, positive approach to helping women by addressing a wide range of legal and policy barriers to women’s health and equality. See full press release.
ACLU and WLP Take Action on Behalf of
Woman Denied Right to Pump Breast Milk at Work
Forced to Pump in Unsanitary Conditions and Endure Harassment from Colleagues
PITTSBURGH – A Port Allegany glass factory worker asserts in a civil complaint and an EEOC charge filed today that she was discriminated against and harassed because she needed to pump breast milk at work following the birth of her child.
Bobbi Bockoras is a factory worker at the Saint Gobain Verallia glass factory. When she returned to work after the birth of her child and requested a place to pump breast milk, she was only provided with rooms that were either unsanitary or insufficiently private, and was subjected to harassment by her coworkers. After she complained, she was moved from the day shift to a rotating schedule that frequently requires her to work an overnight shift, which has disrupted her ability to breastfeed or produce enough milk for her baby. See Press Release.
ALERT: Athletic Equity Reporting Law Under Attack in Harrisburg!
Just last week, the first annual athletic gender equity reports were due from public secondary schools under a new state law that passed on June 30, 2012. The Equity in Interscholastic Athletics Disclosure Act (or Act 82 Article XVI-C) requires secondary schools to provide annual, publicly released reports containing information about school-sponsored athletic programs in order to improve schools’ compliance with Title IX and work towards achieving gender equality.
Sadly, efforts are currently underway in the state legislature to interfere with this law before the first reports are even publicly released. On Tuesday, October 22, House Bill 1734 will be considered by the House Education Committee. House Bill 1734 would repeal several crucial provisions of this important disclosure law. Read more!
Pennsylvania is Failing Women
By Kate Michelman and Sue Frietsche
So much for Pennsylvania as the birthplace of freedom and democracy. A report last month from the Center for American Progress offered some alarming statistics about the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the way it treats the six million or so women who live here, assigning us a “C-” grade, and ranking our state 28th of the 50 states on women’s rights. Read full article.
Title IX Advocates Await Release of New Athletic Gender Equity Reports
Attorneys from the Women’s Law Project announced that the first annual athletic gender equity reports from public high schools, junior highs and middle schools are due today under a new state law that passed on June 30, 2012. The Equity in Interscholastic Athletics Disclosure Act, formally known as Act 82 Article XVI-C, requires secondary schools to publicly report basic information about school-sponsored athletics programs on an annual basis in order to improve schools’ compliance with Title IX and achieve gender equity. Read more.
Philadelphia Can Protect Pregnant Workers from Discrimination
On October 3, 2013, Philadelphia City Councilmember Greenlee, Councilmember Reynolds Brown, and Councilmember Bass introduced legislation that, if passed, will protect pregnant women who work in Philadelphia from discrimination in the workplace. The legislation requires employers to provide women with reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Read more.
U.S. Census Confirms Wage Gap Hasn't Budged - Stuck at 23 Cents!
The U.S. Census confirmed that the wage gap hasn’t budged – not even one penny! Women working full time are paid just 77 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. And the wage gap is far worse for women of color. So now what?
Women’s Law Project and ACLU fight for domestic partner benefits for Pittsburgh teacher
The Women’s Law Project has teamed up with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh attorney Fred Goldsmith to challenge the refusal of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) to provide domestic partner benefits to employees with same-sex partners. (Go to Blog Post, Complaint, and Press Release)
The Third Circuit’s “I Heart Boobies” Ruling is a Win for Young Women
In B.H. v. Easton Area School District, issued on August 5, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld an injunction on the school district’s ban of “I ♥ boobies” breast cancer awareness bracelets. In this precedential decision, the Court acknowledges that student speech related to political or social issues receives First Amendment protection under the United States Constitution, even if that speech contains language that some people may consider lewd. (Read full blog post.)
50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act
Equal Pay Today!
Fifteen national and state-based women’s rights legal organizations are marking the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 with the launch of the Equal Pay Today! Campaign. Read more about the Equal Pay Today! Campaign and what you can do.
Blog: How Long Will Equal Pay Take to Achieve?
Equal Pay Today! Media Advisory (June 10, 2013)
Join the Equal Pay Today! Campaign
Victory for Domestic Abuse Survivors: Women’s Law Project Scores Win in Superior Court
The Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed that the General Assembly meant what it clearly stated when it adopted a law in 2006 requiring insurers to pay claims to innocent victims whose homes and automobiles are damaged by the intentional acts of their abusive spouses. See Opinion and more.
New Policy Brief: Advocacy to Improve Police Response to Sex Crimes
The Women’s Law Project started advocating to improve police response to sex crimes in 1999 when it led the reform of police practice in Philadelphia. Our newly published Policy Brief (February 2013) describes the innovative strategies we have pursued at both the local and national level. See more resources covering Rape & Sexual Assault.
Women are Watching:
Indignation Over Potential Repeal to Gender Equity Reporting Law
WLP Releases New Publications to Help Women's Reentry Process
Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Women in Pennsylvania
United States Supreme Court has weighed in: The Affordable Care Act is
here to stay (blog)
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