Equity & Justice for Families during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Policy Recommendations

The World We Want

We have a chance to get this right — for everyone.

ERA is working with partners to influence temporary relief packages and drive permanent policy fixes. Together we advocate for state legislative agendas containing proposals that promise permanent economic security solutions for the workers and families most affected by COVID-19.

  • Click here to see a list of CA laws and budget allocations we helped pass to help California low-paid workers and immigrant families weather COVID.

ERA envisions a world in which all families have what they need to feel economically secure, no matter the crisis. Women workers have value because they are essential to our community, and they benefit from premium pay as opposed to poverty wages. They thrive in safe and family-friendly workplaces, which never force a choice between one’s job and health. Families can depend on affordable and quality child care. Students can rely on their school to educate them equally without the threat and disruption of sexual violence. (Click here to read about the law we sponsored, advocated and organized for in California to ensure equal access to education for student survivors of sexual violence.)

Federal Policy Recommendations

Women of color are disproportionately represented in the lowest-paid essential work industries such as food production and service, hospitality, retail, and domestic workers. Many of these women and their families have been especially harmed the government’s failure to address the pandemic properly, both with a lack of enforced health and safety standards, and lack of financial assistance for families in deep poverty. They have have disproportionally suffered layoffs, lost affordable child care options, and experienced higher rates of pandemic contraction and death, made even worse by the lack of paid sick days and affordable health care options available in their fields.

For example:

  • Black women are nearly twice as likely to have been laid off, furloughed, or paid less during the pandemic.
  • New data released on January 15 shows that of the 140,000 jobs cut in December, Black and Latina women accounted for 111% of December’s job losses, losing 156,000 jobs, while white women and men gained 

As gender, economic, and racial justice advocates, we’re calling on the federal government to take 20 executive actions in 4 categories:

  1. Immediate COVID & Economic Relief for low-income families
  2. Workplace & Immigration Reform
  3. Child Care & Family Infrastructure Investments
  4. Civil Rights for Students

Read our plan of 20 recommendations to the Biden-Harris Administration for their first 100 Days in the office.

In addition to wanting all COVID-19 relief legislation to include the overlooked needs of immigrant, undocumented, food and service, and other low-paid essential workers, ERA wants to apply this same principle of bold, collective action to reimagine our economy and improve our systems so that every family has an opportunity to thrive.

As proposals are introduced, we will update our policy objectives. Currently, these are the federal proposals we support:

Multi-State Advocacy

As workers choose between their health and jobs, bills ensuring permanent paid sick and family leave  (such as our 2020 Stronger CA bill SB 1383) and equal pay for women and people of color (such as our 2020 CA bill SB 973) are imperative. These bills can and should be replicated in other states, and need public support. Workplace protections are more critical than ever to boost the financial security of families being affected by the pandemic. 

ERA is continuing the coordination, support, and tracking of women’s economic security agendas in different states (including new COVID-19 legislation) through the Stop Harassment State Network and Rapid Response Team, Equal Pay Today, and our Women’s Agenda Policy Hub.

  • Mississippi SB 2522: Would require employees of the opposite sex in the same work establishment to receive equal pay for equal work. 
  • Connecticut HB 5381: Would allow employees to sue employers on behalf of the state after having waived their personal rights to sue by signing forced arbitration agreements 
  • Illinois SB 1829: Would prohibit the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements and forced arbitration in cases of sexual harassment or discrimination 
  • Maryland HB 123: Prohibits an employer from relying on a prospective employee’s prior salary history and requires an employer to provide a wage range for the position, upon request 
  • Massachusetts SB 217: Would prohibit an employer from relying on a prospective employee’s prior salary history and would require an employer to provide a wage range for the position upon request of the prospective employee. 
  • Kentucky HB 168: Would prohibit legislators or legislative employees from discriminating or sexually harassing other legislators or legislative employees 
  • Pennsylvania SB 38: Would make it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against any employee or prospective employee for discussing wage information 
  • Maine LD 1529: Would make it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to enter into a contract or agreement with an employee that contains a non-disclosure agreement 
Legal Advice & Resources / Consejos y Recursos legales

Know Your Rights

Learn what your rights are so you can navigate your situation and make the best decision for you.

Your Rights at Work
Your Rights at School

Contact Us

We may be able to provide free legal help for the following issues at California schools: gender and LGBTQI+ discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.

Apply for Legal Help

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We have trained legal advocates and lawyers on staff to guide you through your legal issue.

Conozca Sus Derechos

Aprende sus derechos para que puedas navegar su situación y tomar la mejor decisión para ti.

Sus Derechos en el Trabajo


Posible que podamos proveer ayuda legal por gratis por los siguientes problemas en el trabajo o la escuela: discriminación basado en el género o por LGBTQI+, acoso sexual, asalto sexual, y discriminación basado en el embarazo o por ser padre/madre.


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En este momento, no estamos recibiendo solicitudes dejadas por un recado de teléfono. Sin embargo, usted puede someter una solicitud para una consulta por la manera de hacer clic en el links "Empleo" o "Educación."