In honor of Mother’s Day month, we are joining MomsRising and fellow advocates from across the state and heading to the Capitol to call on lawmakers to pass policies that will help lift Pennsylvania families by fighting discrimination in the workplace and promoting economic security.
Never been to the Pennsylvania Capitol? No problem. We will be there to help you. Have the kids that day? Please bring them! We love to show kids that it’s everyone’s right to speak up for what you believe in. You are welcome to bring parents, friends, and kids. We will discuss the issues, host a rally, and have policy fact sheets on hand and show you how to drop them off at legislator’s offices. We’ll even provide free lunch (as long as you register beforehand).
Here is the schedule:
11AM, Capitol Steps: We’re reading messages from parents across the Commonwealth
12PM, Main Rotunda: Rally and Press Conference
1PM: Dropping off materials and messages (on kites!) to Legislator offices
Specifically, we’re calling on Pennsylvania lawmakers to:
Raise Pennsylvania’s Minimum Wage
At $7.25 per hour, Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is the lowest allowed by federal law, and not a living wage. Currently, the tipped wage in Pennsylvania is $2.83 per hour. Nearly three-quarters of Pennsylvania’s tipped workers are women and of those workers close to one in five live in poverty. That’s higher than the poverty rate for Pennsylvania men working for tips, and more than double the rate of working women overall. In addition, working for tips correlates with increased exposure to sexual harassment.
Pass Workplace Accommodations for Pregnant Workers
Did you know that in some parts of Pennsylvania, a pregnant worker can be fired simply for asking for an extra glass of water while at work? Despite repeatedly introducing the Pennsylvania Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the Pennsylvania Legislature has refused to advance it—even though Pennsylvania is one of the 10 worst states in the country for pregnancy discrimination, and even though the majority of states have passed similar measures into law.
Pass Paid Leave
It’s 2018, and the United States remains the only developed nation to provide zero weeks of paid leave. Enough.
Pass Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Workers
Without guaranteed access to paid leave, pregnant Pennsylvanians may have to work until the last possible day of their pregnancy and then return to work within weeks of giving birth. Public health experts have called for laws to protect and promote breastfeeding in the workplace to reduce infant mortality, yet the Pennsylvania Legislature has repeatedly refused to advance this basic workplace protection that would give more babies access to mother’s milk and all the health benefits that go with it.
Promote Equal Pay
Pennsylvania’s equal pay law is one of the weakest in the country. As a result, Pennsylvania women face a wider pay gap than most women in the country. We know how to fix the law and close the loopholes, but the Legislature has so far failed to advance this legislation.
Implement Sexual Harassment Protections
Seven months into the #MeToo movement, Pennsylvania still hasn’t closed the loophole in the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act so that all working women in Pennsylvania have the same basic protections against sexual harassment in the workplace.
Will you join us in Harrisburg on May 22?
Even if you have never done something like this before, this is the perfect opportunity to learn how to advocate for equality—and show the kids how to do it, too.
If you can’t attend but would like to send a supportive message, you can send us a message to be read on the steps of the Capitol, too.
This event is also co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Campaign for Women’s Health.
The Women’s Law Project is a public interest law center in Pennsylvania devoted to advancing the rights of women and girls.
We are a non-profit organization. Please consider supporting equal rights for women and girls by making a one-time donation or scheduling a monthly contribution.