Helping Working Families | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Helping Working Families

Standing Up for Workers and Working Families

Over the last 20 years, the gap between the wealthy and the middle class has grown significantly.  Families who were once comfortably in the middle class are now struggling to cope with record high prices for food, food and health care – while also providing a decent future for their families and children. A strong economy is the single most important factor in making the American Dream possible. I am proud to support legislation that stands with workers and working families and helps to alleviate the challenges they face.

Raising the Minimum Wage

In the United States, everyone should be able to access basic necessities like food and shelter. However, the current federal minimum wage is too low to adequately support someone working hard to make ends meet. At $7.25 an hour, the minimum wage pays only $15,000 per year, placing a family of three thousands of dollars below the poverty line. For hardworking Americans seeking economic security for themselves and their families, this is simply not good enough.

That is why I support raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. It can be very difficult to raise a family in this economy, and hardworking Americans deserve to be properly compensated. This bill is a step in the right direction.

Closing the Wage Gap

Despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women in the United States are paid on average just 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. In 2009, I was proud to vote for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and watch President Obama sign it into law. This important legislation clarified that pay discrimination constitutes a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As long as workers file their lawsuit within 180 days of receiving a discriminatory paycheck, their charges would still be considered timely.

Further, I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act. This bill aims to eliminate the gender wage gap by allowing women to collect punitive as well as compensatory damages for pay discrimination. The Paycheck Fairness Act also offers negotiation skills training to women and girls as well as resources to small businesses to promote pay equity in the workplace. Paycheck fairness is not only good for women, but also good for the economic security of American families.

Improving Family and Medical Leave

In this economic climate, no one should have to worry about losing his or her job due to family obligations or medical necessity. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 was passed to allow employees to take 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period to care for a family member, newborn, newly-adopted child, or newly-placed foster child. While this landmark legislation made great strides to help families during difficult and joyous times, we still have a long way to go to improve protected leave.

That is why I am a cosponsor the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, a bill that extends the legacy of the FMLA through 12 weeks of paid leave. I am also a cosponsor of the Healthy Families Act, which permits employees to earn at least one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Hardworking Americans should not have to choose between their health or the health of a family member and their paycheck.

Protecting the Workplace Rights of Pregnant Women

Women make up nearly half of the American workforce, yet their job security is often threatened when they become pregnant.  As a husband and father, I am proud to cosponsor the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill making it unlawful to force pregnant women out of the workplace or deny them reasonable accommodations that would enable them to continue providing for their families.  

More on Helping Working Families

October 8, 2021 Press Release

Youngstown, OH – During Ohio Nonviolence Week, Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) and Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) reintroduced legislation today to recognize National

October 7, 2021 Press Release

Youngstown, Ohio – Following the Biden Administration’s China Trade Policy announcement, Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today invited Ambassador Katherine Tai to visit the 13th Congressional District. 

October 4, 2021 Press Release

Youngstown, OH – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today released the following statement in response to the Biden Administration’s China Trade Policy Plan. In a speech today, United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai outlined the Biden Administration’s vision for U.S.-China Trade Policy. USTR Tai’s full speech can be read here.

August 13, 2021 Press Release

Niles, OH – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today announced that the Child Tax Credit Payments – which were passed in the American Rescue Plan Act by House and Senate Democrats and signed into law by President Biden – pumped $688,550,000 into the Ohio economy in July alone. According to a new study, in July this tax cut for working families put a $550,840,000 into the pockets of Ohio’s families and benefited 2,169,000 Ohio children.

August 12, 2021 Press Release

Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan is announcing today a $368,466 grant for Family & Community Services from AmeriCorps, the federal agency for service and volunteering to support a new AmeriCorps VISTA Project. The project will fund 18 full-time positions and provide up to $133,010 in additional funding for education scholarships for the AmeriCorps VISTA members to help pay for college, vocational training, or to assist them in paying back student loans.

August 12, 2021 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) presses the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to move swiftly to clear the IRS tax refund backlog so Ohioans receive their money as soon as possible. Ryan joined a letter with 34 of his House colleagues to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig urging him to quickly provide tax refunds to deliver economic relief to taxpayers. The processing center where Ohio residents send paper returns had a backlog of at least 1.6 million paper returns as of July 6, 2021. That processing center serves around half of the United States.

August 10, 2021 Press Release

Washington, DC — Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Bill Posey (R-FL) today introduced their bipartisan legislation, the Safe Medicine Actto end our reliance on foreign powers for important lifesaving pharmaceuticals and generics. This bill is designed to protect the tens of millions of American patients who rely on these drugs from being subject to contaminated pharmaceuticals from countries like China who do not have our best interests in mind – a problem that has only escalated in the last two decades.  

August 6, 2021 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) is announcing a federal grant of $539,218 for the University of Akron for their Talent Search Program, which helps the university identify and assist individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education. The program provides academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and complete their postsecondary education. 

August 4, 2021 Press Release

Youngtown, OH – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today applauded the United States International Trade Commission (USITC)’s affirmative ruling for Vallourec’s  antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVC) petitions. This is the final action in the investigation and ensures Vallourec and its employees will receive the intended relief from the impacts of unfairly dumped and subsidized imports of seamless pipe from Czechia, Korea, Russia, and Ukraine. 

July 30, 2021 Press Release

Washington, DC — Congressman Tim Ryan (OH- 13) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Labor officially rescinded a rule that limited worker protections for contractors and franchise workers. The rule on joint-employment, which was enacted under the prior Administration, limited the scope of which businesses were considered joint-employers and therefore made it more difficult to hold companies liable for wage law violations.