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

February 25, 2014 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan will be at the White House today at 3p.m. as President Obama will announce two new public-private manufacturing innovation institutes – one in Chicago and one in the Detroit area - as well as the first of four new Manufacturing Innovation Institute competitions. These steps will boost advanced manufacturing, strengthen our capabilities for defense, and attract the types of high-quality jobs that a growing middle class requires.

January 16, 2014 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan, along with 115 members of Congress, wrote a letter to House Republican leadership calling on them to keep the House in session until emergency federal unemployment benefits are extended.

January 15, 2014 Press Release

Congressman Tim Ryan made the following statement today on his support of the FY 2014 Consolidated Government Spending Bill which has passed the House of Representatives:

December 18, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan joins Congressman Dan Maffei (D-NY) in introducing the Military Retirement Restoration Act. This legislation will repeal the cuts to military retirement cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for working-age retirees that are included in the Bipartisan Budget Act.

December 13, 2013 Press Release

"Although this Budget agreement is not perfect, I do believe it is the type of compromise we need to move our nation forward. After years of continued partisan gridlock and short term spending extensions, this agreement gives our nation two years of much needed financial stability. I am pleased that this agreement restores $63 billion in spending over these next two years, partially alleviating some of the devastating fiscal constraints caused by the sequester’s stranglehold on our economy. At the same time this agreement will responsibly provide a $23 billion deficit reduction.

December 11, 2013 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan today joined 165 of his Democratic House colleagues in signing a letter to House Speaker John Boehner urging him to bring an extension of federal unemployment benefits to the House Floor for a vote.  Benefits are now scheduled to expire on December 28, cutting jobless aid to 1.3 million Americans immediately, and an additional 1.9 million Americans will lose their federal unemployment insurance during the first six months of 2014.

November 14, 2013 Press Release

"I am extremely disappointed with Lockheed Martin’s decision to close its Akron facility. As a member of the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations, I have taken every opportunity to assist Lockheed and their workforce by supporting the funding that they needed to keep our defense industries strong. In fact, I secured over $26 million in federal funds for key Lockheed research and development projects.

November 13, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan, founder and chairman of the House Manufacturing Caucus, made the following statement in support of today’s Senate Commerce Committee hearing on how to strengthen U.S. innovation and manufacturing. Eric A. Spiegel, President and CEO of Siemens Corporation and Michael S. Garvey, President and CEO of Youngstown’s M-7 Technologiesboth from the Mahoning Valley and industry leaders – testified at today’s Senate Hearing.

November 8, 2013 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representative Tim Ryan, Senator Sherrod Brown, Representative Marcy Kaptur, and Representative Marcia Fudge sent a letter today to Lockheed Martin urging the defense contractor to maintain operations in Akron and save about 600 jobs at the facility.  The company’s draft consolidation plan would reportedly include closing the Akron plant and relocating workers to Lockheed Martin facilities in other states.

November 7, 2013 Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Tim Ryan announced today that a $775,000 grant has been awarded to the Asian Service in Action, Inc. (ASIA), a non-profit organization from Akron and Cleveland that works to empower and advocate for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. The money will be used to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate information and services, including comprehensive care across all life cycles, including primary care, OB/GYN, pediatrics, geriatrics, preventive dental, diagnostic laboratory and x-ray, pharmacy, and emergency medical services.