White House Summit on Worker Voice

WH Summit on Worker VoiceFight for $15
President Obama announced in August that The First White House will be held on October 7.
America is at its strongest when we work together to build prosperity that all of us contribute to and share. We are our best when the working men and women who are engines of economic growth are true partners in industry and innovation, with a robust voice in their workplaces.

Our economy has come a long way from the economic crisis we faced when President Obama took office. American businesses have created 13 million jobs over the past 65 months, the longest consecutive streak of job growth on record. But we have more work to do to help middle-class wages grow and adapt to the changing nature of work in the 21st century. The Summit on Worker Voice will provide a historic opportunity to bring together a diverse group of leaders – including workers, employers, unions, organizers, and other advocates and experts – to explore ways to ensure that hardworking Americans are both driving our nation’s economic resurgence and also sharing in the benefits of the growth that they are helping to create.

Summit Focus:

  • Highlight the value of collective bargaining
  • Examine challenges facing workers trying to organize in the 21st century
  • Bring attention to new, innovative ways that workers are coming together to have a voice in their workplaces
  • Engage employers who are collaborating with their workers to create meaningful partnerships that are good for workers and businesses

For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/campaign/worker-voice

October 7, 2015
White House Summit on Worker Voice
Washington DC





Executive Order 11246 – Affirmative Action, 50th Anniversary

EEOC @ 50

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr in a meeting at the White House
President Lyndon B. Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr in a meeting at the White House

Executive Order 11246, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) on September 24, 1965, established requirements for non-discriminatory practices in hiring and employment on the part of U.S. government contractors. It “prohibits federal contractors and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who do over $10,000 in Government business in one year from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” It also requires contractors to “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin.” The phrase affirmative action had appeared previously in Executive Order 10925 in 1961.

The order was a follow-up to Executive Order 10479 signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on August 13, 1953 establishing the anti-discrimination Committee on Government Contracts, which itself was based on a similar Executive Order 8802 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941. Eisenhower’s Executive Order has been amended and updated by at least six subsequent Executive Orders. It differed significantly from the requirements of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which only required organizations to document their practices once there was a preliminary finding of wrongdoing. This Executive Order required the businesses it covered to maintain and furnish documentation of hiring and employment practices upon request.

The Executive Order also required contractors with 51 or more employees and contracts of $50,000 or more to implement affirmative action plans to increase the participation of minorities and women in the workplace if a workforce analysis demonstrates their under-representation, meaning that there are fewer minorities and women than would be expected given the numbers of minorities and women qualified to hold the positions available. Federal regulations require affirmative action plans to include an equal opportunity policy statement, an analysis of the current work force, identification of under-represented areas, the establishment of reasonable, flexible goals and timetables for increasing employment opportunities, specific action-oriented programs to address problem areas, support for community action programs, and the establishment of an internal audit and reporting system.

The Order assigned the responsibility for enforcing parts of the non-discrimination in contracts with private industry to the Department of Labor. Detailed regulations for compliance with the Order were not issued until 1969, when the Nixon administration made affirmative action part of its civil rights strategy.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_11246



Equality at Work Turns 50 with Milestone Anniversary of the Signing of Executive Order 11246

September 24th Event Unites Civil Rights and Federal Contractor Communities Honoring Fairness and Equality in the American Workplace

On September 24, 1965, the Nation took a historic step forward when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11246 (“EO 11246”) requiring federal contractors to ensure equal employment opportunity based on race, color, religion, or national origin. Amended by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 to protect women from employment discrimination, and by President Barack H. Obama on July 21, 2014 to protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, EO 11246 continues to lead America’s success in federal contractors achieving equal employment opportunities in the American workplace.

On September 24, 2015, in commemoration of that historic civil rights milestone, The OFCCP Institute (“The Institute”), a national, Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit employer association, will host a 50th anniversary celebratory event at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C.

Receiving widespread support from the civil rights and federal contractor communities, supporters of the anniversary event include The Memorial Foundation, Builders of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the National Civil Rights Museum, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and more.

The event is being held in recognition of the struggles of the first 50 years and to celebrate the many accomplishments achieved by federal contractors under EO 11246 and related programs to move the workplace towards greater equality.

For more: http://goo.gl/254RP8


September 24, 2015
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM ET
The 50th Anniversary of Executive Order 11246 – Affirmative Action
The OFCCP Institute, Washington, DC


Labor Day 2015

Rosie Riveter - Labor Day

WE Americans are the only ones who can grow our economy.

Double the value of your dollar and help grow the economy when you buy the Made In The USA label.

Outsourcing Message from AllAmericanClothing.com


Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Founder of Labor Day

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

Source: http://www.dol.gov/opa/aboutdol/laborday.htm


The U.S. Job Market Just Hit Another Milestone
Full-time jobs are back on top

September 4, 2015 Victoria Stilwell – Benchmark

The U.S. economy reached its latest milestone in August, with the number of full-time jobs soaring to a new record.

The level climbed to 122 million, exceeding the prior peak reached in November 2007, a month before the recession started. A full-time worker is defined by the Labor Department as one who works 35 hours or more a week.

US Full-Time Jobs Aug 2005 - Aug 2015

Meanwhile, part-time employment fell to the lowest level since February 2011.

It’s undoubtedly good news that employers are finally feeling confident enough in the expansion to commit to adding full-time positions. Still, Friday’s milestone is also a reminder that it’s taken more than six years to get to this point.

“We’ve definitely made a lot of progress,” said Omair Sharif, a rate sales strategist at SG Americas Securities LLC in New York. That doesn’t mean the job market is fully back to its pre-recession health.

Consider the number of full-time jobs as a share of total employment, which stood at 81.9 percent in August. That compares with an average of 83 percent before the recession.

For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-04/the-u-s-job-market-just-hit-another-milestone

Betting on America - PBO quote_ medObama_backs_American_workers_med

As we seek to strengthen our economy and our middle class, we must secure a better bargain for all — one where everyone who works hard in America has a chance to get ahead. I am committed to boosting economic mobility by empowering our workers and making sure an honest day’s work is rewarded with an honest day’s pay. My Administration is fighting for a fair minimum wage for every employee because nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. We must also eliminate pay discrimination so women receive equal pay for equal work, combat unfair labor practices, and continue to defend the collective bargaining rights our parents and grandparents fought so hard for.

As we celebrate Labor Day, we reflect on the efforts of those who came before us to increase opportunity, expand the middle class, and build security for our families, and we rededicate ourselves to moving forward with this work in our time. We stand united behind our great American workforce as we lay the path for economic growth and prosperity.

President Barack Obama 8/31/14


Monday, September 7, 2015

President Obama delivers remarks at the Greater Boston Labor Council Labor’s Annual Labor Day Breakfast
Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA


Vice President Biden delivers remarks at The Allegheny County Labor Day Parade
Greyhound Station, Pittsburgh, PA



2015 National Fair Housing Conference

HUD FHEO Natl Training & Policy Confrnce

This September, HUD Secretary Julián Castro will deliver an address commemorating our 50th Anniversary at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. The ceremony will continue a series of events recognizing HUD’s proud legacy and will coincide with the signing of the bill by President Johnson that established HUD as a Cabinet-level agency on September 9, 1965.

In the months preceding and succeeding the Secretary’s remarks, HUD will also introduce a number of additional initiatives as part of our anniversary celebration.

The first is the launching of our HUD 50 website. I invite you to take a moment and discover some of the great content available on the page. For example:

  1. There’s an interactive timeline that allows you to trace the entire history of HUD, one that starts with the founding of the Federal Housing Administration in the midst of the Great Depression and ends with the crucial steps our Department took to stem the housing crisis of the Great Recession.
  2. You can also read about some of the extraordinary people who began their lives in public housing – a list that includes a former U.S. President, a current Supreme Court Justice, and the CEO of a billion-dollar corporation.
  3. And since none of HUD’s accomplishments would have been possible without our incredible employees, our site will acknowledge some of the inspirational women and men who’ve helped to shape our identity, while also highlighting some of the great work that our employees continue to perform each and every day.

For more: http://hud50.hud.gov/join-hud-in-celebrating-50-years-of-opportunity/


September 2, 2015
9:00 AM ET
HUD Secretary Julian Castro delivers opening remarks
Attorney General Loretta Lynch delivers the keynote address 
2015 National Fair Housing Training and Policy Conference
Washington DC 

Live Stream: http://ow.ly/RBlNY 



Women’s Equality Day 2015

Women’s Equality Day is a day proclaimed each year by the United States President to commemorate the granting of the vote to women throughout the country. Women in the United States were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified as law. The amendment was first introduced many years earlier in 1878. Every president has published a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day since 1972, the year after legislation was first introduced in Congress by Bella Abzug. This resolution was passed in 1971 designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day.

Equal Pay - Women Breadwinners

The Paycheck Fairness Act is proposed legislation that would add procedural protections to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Fair Labor Standards Act as part of an effort to address male–female income disparity in the United States. A Census Bureau report published in 2008 stated that women’s median annual earnings were 77.5% of men’s earnings, newer studies suggest, when the data is controlled for certain variables, the residual gap is around 7%, the same study concludes that the residual is due to the fact that “hours of work in many occupations are worth more when given at particular moments and when the hours are more continuous. That is, in many occupations earnings have a nonlinear relationship with respect to hours.”

The House of Represen­tatives approved the bill in January 2009. The United States Senate failed to move the bill forward in November 2010. President Barack Obama said in March 2011 that he will continue to fight for the goals in the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill was reintroduced in both houses of Congress in April 2011.

The 2010 bill had no Republican Party co-sponsors, though a group of four Republican senators had supported an earlier bill to address gender-based wage discrimination, including Susan CollinsKay Bailey HutchisonLisa Murkowski and Olympia Snowe. On June 5th, 2012 the bill fell short of the 60 votes necessary to override a filibuster and did not make it to the Senate floor for debate. The vote went along party lines, excluding a vote against by Democrat Harry Reid. (A vote which left Democrats the option to introduce the bill again at a later time.) On April 9, 2014, in another straight-party-line vote, the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 2199; 113th Congress) was again blocked by a Republican filibuster in the U.S. Senate. Once again, Senator Reid changed his vote from support to oppose, as a tactical maneuver to keep the bill alive.

The 2010 Senate version of the bill had the support of the Obama administration and that of Democrats in the Senate. The American Civil Liberties Union supported S.182, citing the 2008 data from the United States Census Bureau that women’s median annual earnings were 77.5% of the male median, African-American women’s median annual earnings were 64% of the white male median, and Hispanic women’s median annual earnings were 54% of the white male median. The American Association of University Women also supported the bill, citing the organization’s 2007 research report, Behind the Pay Gap, which showed that women earn less than their male colleagues just one year out of college. The pay gap has widened 10 years after graduation.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paycheck_Fairness_Act


Did You Know That Women Are Still Paid Less Than Men?

On average, full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. This substantial gap is more than a statistic — it has real life consequences. When women, who make up nearly half the workforce, bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families, and over a lifetime of work, far less savings for retirement.

President Obama supports passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a comprehensive and commonsense bill that updates and strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work.



GOP Blocks Equal Pay

Senate Republicans again kill Paycheck Fairness Act

4/09/14 01:06 PM – Steven Benen – maddowblog

The third time was not the charm. Democratic efforts to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act failed to overcome Republican opposition in the 111th Congress and the 112th Congress, and as of this morning, it failed once again at the hands of a GOP filibuster.

Senate Republicans filibustered a debate on a Democratic pay equity bill backed by President Barack Obama Wednesday.

Sixty votes were needed to allow the bill to be debated on the Senate floor, but Republicans refused to allow the bill to come up for debate after complaining Democrats weren’t allowing votes on their amendments.

The roll call from the vote is online here. Note that the final tally was 54 to 43 – six votes shy of the supermajority needed to end Republican obstructionism – but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) switched his vote for procedural reasons, leaving it at 53 to 44.

The legislation received exactly zero Republican votes, as was the case with previous efforts to pass the bill.I

In case anyone needs a refresher, the Paycheck Fairness Act is a perfectly credidble piece of legislation that would “enhance the remedies available for victims of gender-based discrimination and require employers to show that wage differences are job-related, not sex-based, and driven by business necessity. The measure would also protect employees from retaliation for sharing salary information, which is important for deterring and challenging discriminatory compensation.”

As we’ve discussed, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was an important step forward when it comes to combating discrimination, but it was also narrowly focused to address a specific problem: giving victims of discrimination access to the courts for legal redress. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a broader measure.

Republicans have responded that they endorse the idea of equal pay for equal work, but in recent years, much of the party remains opposed to policymakers’ efforts to do something about it. (This morning, some GOP senators also raised procedural objections about amendments.)

As for the electoral considerations, aren’t GOP lawmakers worried about rejecting measures like these in an election year?

Apparently not.

Senate Republicans aren’t sweating a ramped-up push by Democrats and President Barack Obama for new pay equity legislation – pushing forward women Republicans to rebut charges they have a woman problem and doubting the issue will resonate with voters. […]

Republicans argue that the Democrats’ bill – along with their so-called “Fair Shot” agenda for the year – is a political ploy that will not fool voters.

I’m not sure who’s trying to fool whom in this model. Dems put together a bill; the bill is popular; and they’ve pushed it repeatedly for six years. That sounds less like a p.r. stunt and more like an effort to address a problem.

As for the midterms, Republicans have struggled of late with the gender gap. At a minimum, today’s vote won’t help.



US Women’s Rights Movement Timeline 1848 – 2009 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)


Forward For Equality_sml

Justice Dept: Unconstitutional To Ban Homeless From Sleeping Outside

Homeless Family

DOJ Says It’s Unconstitutional To Ban The Homeless From Sleeping Outside


The Justice Department weighs in on an Idaho case, arguing that homeless people should not be charged with crimes for sleeping outdoors when there is not enough housing in their communities.


Many cities with a homeless problem have responded by passing laws that crack down on camping or sleeping in public places. In some places, they’ve effectively criminalized homelessness. Well, now the Obama administration is weighing in, arguing that for those who have no choice, sleeping in public is not a crime. NPR’s Carrie Johnson reports.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Seven homeless people in Boise, Idaho, are suing the city to overturn a ban on camping and sleeping because they’ve been punished under the local ordinances. This month, the U.S. Justice Department decided it wanted to use the Boise case to send this message.

VANITA GUPTA: Making it a crime for people who are homeless to sleep in public places when there’s insufficient shelter space in a city really is a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

JOHNSON: Vanita Gupta leads the civil rights unit at Justice. She says handing out tickets and fines for an innocent activity like sleeping in public ties up courts and jails, and advocates say that pushing homeless people into the justice system is counterproductive. That’s because having a criminal record hurts their chances when they apply for housing and jobs. Eric Tars works at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. He’s involved in the Boise case too.

ERIC TARS: Most homeless people aren’t criminals, but if you criminalize the simple acts that we all do every day to survive – sleeping, eating, even going to the bathroom – then you make homeless people into criminals, and then you have the criminal justice system dealing with a social problem.

JOHNSON: Tars says the number of ordinances that make it a crime to sleep, sit on the sidewalk or panhandle has gone up by double digits in the past three years. And he says the Justice Department filing in the Boise case could have wide impact since big cities, including Los Angeles, are still figuring out their approach.

TARS: The DOJ’s brief sends a really strong signal to the city of Boise and to communities across the country that homeless people do not lose their constitutional rights when they lose their homes.

For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2015/08/14/432280606/doj-says-its-unconstitutional-to-ban-the-homeless-from-sleeping-outside



Thursday, August 6, 2015 doj.gov

The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest today arguing that making it a crime for people who are homeless to sleep in public places, when there is insufficient shelter space in a city, unconstitutionally punishes them for being homeless.  The statement of interest was filed in federal district court in Idaho in Bell v. City of Boise et al., a case brought by homeless plaintiffs who were convicted under Boise ordinances that criminalize sleeping or camping in public.

As stated by the Justice Department in its filing, “[i]t should be uncontroversial that punishing conduct that is a universal and unavoidable consequence of being human violates the Eighth Amendment. . .  Sleeping is a life-sustaining activity—i.e., it must occur at some time in some place.  If a person literally has nowhere else to go, then enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance against that person criminalizes her for being homeless.”

“Many homeless individuals are unable to secure shelter space because city shelters are over capacity or inaccessible to people with disabilities,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division.  “Criminally prosecuting those individuals for something as innocent as sleeping, when they have no safe, legal place to go, violates their constitutional rights.  Moreover, enforcing these ordinances is poor public policy.  Needlessly pushing homeless individuals into the criminal justice system does nothing to break the cycle of poverty or prevent homelessness in the future.  Instead, it imposes further burdens on scarce judicial and correctional resources, and it can have long-lasting and devastating effects on individuals’ lives.”

“No one wants people to sleep on sidewalks or in parks, particularly not our veterans, or young people, or people with mental illness,” said Director Lisa Foster of the Office for Access to Justice.  “But the answer is not to criminalize homelessness.  Instead, we need to work with our local government partners to provide the services people need, including legal services, to obtain permanent and stable housing.”

For more: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-files-brief-address-criminalization-homelessness


Homelessness Assistance

Who Needs Homelessness Assistance?

More than 1 million persons are served in HUD-supported emergency, transitional and permanent housing programs each year. The total number of persons who experience homelessness may be twice as high. There are four federally defined categories under which individuals and families may qualify as homeless: 1) literally homeless; 2) imminent risk of homelessness; 3) homeless under other Federal statues; and 4) fleeing/attempting to flee domestic violence.

Where Can Individuals Find Assistance?

Individuals looking for assistance can:



Homeless People’s Voting Rights – http://www.nationalhomeless.org/projects/vote/court.html


Social Security Act of 1935 – 80th Anniversary

Soc Sec 80th icon

In the United States, Social Security is primarily the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) federal program. The original Social Security Act (1935) and the current version of the Act, as amended, encompass several social welfare and social insurance programs. Social Security is funded through payroll taxes called Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA) and/or Self Employed Contributions Act Tax (SECA). Tax deposits are collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are formally entrusted to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund, the Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund, or the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund which make up the Social Security Trust Funds. With a few exceptions, all salaried income, up to a specifically determined amount by law (see tax rate table below) has an FICA and/or SECA tax collected on it.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_(United_States)


The Obama Administration’s Agenda on Seniors & Social Security

“To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations. We must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.”


Social Security Timeline: http://www.ssa.gov/history/1930.html

Learn more about Social Security: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/


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