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On January 21, 2017, we proudly stood with so many of you, and millions more, to march for equality for all. Check out our highlights from the day!

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Imagine getting paid $2.13 per hour.  This is the wage the federal government and most states allow employers to pay tipped workers.

On today’s national day of action to abolish the tipped minimum wage, ERA joins Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United and partners nationwide in demanding one fair wage for all workers.

Throughout the restaurant industry, employers count on their customers to supplement the poverty wages they pay their employees. As detailed in this ERA report, forcing tipped workers to depend on customers for their paycheck leaves them more vulnerable to workplace sexual harassment. ROC United has found that 90% of women restaurant workers report enduring some form of sexual harassment at work – a much higher rate than for non-tipped workers.

Equal Rights Advocates has a long history of representing restaurant workers. ERA client Rebecca, who works as a waitress in Pittsburgh, says:

“Women in the restaurant industry have learned that they need to just expect sexual harassment and low pay. I have been working in restaurants for over 20 years and have never once received a raise. You have to fight every day for what you earn.”

The tipped minimum wage not only makes restaurant workers more vulnerable to workplace sexual harassment, but also to retaliation when they find the courage to speak up about the problem: when a worker’s income depends so heavily on tips, a simple change to her shift or station assignment could lead to a significant drop in earnings and even force her to leave the restaurant.

“Nobody wants to talk about restaurant workers’ pay,” says Rebecca. “It’s the taboo of the tip.”

So far, seven states have abolished the tipped minimum wage. It’s time for the other 43 to follow.

Learn more about ERA’s representation of restaurant workers.

Learn more about the One Fair Wage Campaign.

 

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Jeff Sessions’ confirmation yesterday as Attorney General is an affront to women, immigrants, the LGBTQI community, and people of color. As Attorney General, he poses a real and serious threat to decades of progress made for civil rights and women’s rights.

Sessions has opposed efforts to close the wage gap, opposed women’s access to health services, and opposed the Violence Against Women Act. He would not concede that President Trump’s comments about women described sexual assault, and he has spent his career as one of the most vigorous opponents of women’s reproductive rights.

His 30-year record of racism and misogyny demonstrates that he is unfit to serve in this role and uphold the equal rights of all.

ERA will stand with civil and human rights organizations nationwide to hold Sessions accountable in his new role, and we will continue to defend our civil rights, no matter who is Attorney General.

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Yesterday, the unthinkable happened. Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education.

DeVos has a long history of supporting private schools at the expense of public education. At her confirmation hearing, she lacked basic knowledge about federal civil rights laws designed to protect our kids. She has given every indication that she will weaken critical guidelines established by the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights to combat gender-based discrimination and sexual violence on campuses. Indeed, DeVos said it was “premature” to say she would uphold a 2011 guidance that requires colleges to take an active role to prevent sexual assault.

This is unacceptable.

In response, Equal Rights Advocates has partnered with Family Violence Law Center to build a Campus Sexual Assault Attorney Network to defend students' right to a safe education, free of sexual violence. We will be here for students, even if the Department of Education is not. Sign up to join us here. 

With your support, this Network will:

  • Conduct outreach sessions on college campuses;
  • Train volunteer attorneys to represent sexual violence survivors in Title IX proceedings;
  • File preliminary injunctions to force universities to respond promptly and adequately to sexual violence campus complaints;
  • Engage students, alumni, parents, and educators as leaders of violence prevention efforts on campuses nationwide.

From jokes made by our president about sexually assaulting women to his assertion that female staff should "dress like a woman," the current administration has shown a fundamental disregard for - if not outright hostility to - women's basic human rights. 

Help us defend the rights of young women and grow our Campus Sexual Assault Attorney Network with a gift today. 

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On January 21, 2017, we proudly stood with so many of you, and millions more, to march for equality for all. Check out our highlights from the day!

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The March for Equality is Just Beginning

February 16, 2017 | by

On January 21, 2017, we proudly stood with so many of you, and millions more, to march for equality for all. Check out our highlights from the day! read more

The Taboo of the Tip

February 13, 2017 | by

Imagine getting paid $2.13 per hour.  This is the wage the federal government and most states allow employers to pay tipped workers. On today’s national day of action to abolish the tipped minimum...
read more

Holding Sessions Accountable: The Whole World is Watching

February 9, 2017 | by

Jeff Sessions’ confirmation yesterday as Attorney General is an affront to women, immigrants, the LGBTQI community, and people of color. As Attorney General, he poses a real and serious threat to...
read more

We Will Continue to Fight Campus Sexual Assault

February 8, 2017 | by

Yesterday, the unthinkable happened. Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education. DeVos has a long history of supporting private schools at the expense of public education. At her...
read more