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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

March 14, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) early this morning voted to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to bolster the federal government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and address the severe impacts of coronavirus on Americans’ personal safety and financial security.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides basic protections for Americans including paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave, enhanced Unemployment Insurance, food security initiatives, and free widespread testing.

March 13, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressmen Tim Ryan (OH-13) and Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17) proposed legislation to establish an emergency Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would provide a check between $1,000 and $6,000 to every American who earned less than $65,000 last year. More than three-quarters of American workers would qualify for this tax relief.

February 26, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Bill Posey (R-FL) today introduced the Safe Medicine Act, bipartisan legislation to break America’s dependence on pharmaceuticals produced overseas and protect Americans from defective or contaminated foreign pharmaceuticals. Tens of millions of Americans who depend on life-saving medications could be at-risk of receiving tainted medicine from countries like China that do not abide by our laws and do not have America’s best interests in mind. 

February 11, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Representatives Tim Ryan (OH-13), Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), and Joyce Beatty (OH-03) today urged Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to reject Medicaid block grants for the state of Ohio. On January 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a plan, entitled “Healthy Adult Opportunity,” encouraging states to block grant Medicaid funding. 

February 6, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today voted for the most significant worker-rights legislation in 80 years. The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act will guard union elections from employer interference, require employers to negotiate with newly elected unions, ensure employees can’t be misclassified as supervisors or independent contractors, invalidate state “right-to-work-for-less” laws, and stiffen penalties for violations of workers’ rights.

January 29, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) met Tuesday, January 28th with Steve Burns, CEO of Lordstown Motors to discuss Lordstown Motors' upcoming application for an approximately $200 million Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan through the US Department of Energy. Lordstown Motors plans to use the funds to update their plant—the former GM Lordstown Assembly Plant--to manufacture electric-powered pickup trucks. They plan to hire as many as 400 workers by the end of this year.

January 17, 2020 Press Release

Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan urges President Trump to assist Delphi retirees who lost a substantial portion of their pension in the aftermath of the Delphi and GM Bankruptcies.

January 9, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan joined 75 of his House Democratic colleagues today in urging House Democratic leadership to hold a vote on the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act of 2019. In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Majority Whip James Clyburn, House Democrats called on bringing this legislation that strengthens labor union and worker rights to the House Floor.

January 2, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Ryan is today announcing a federal investment of over $750,000 to assist residents of public housing and voucher-assisted housing. This assistance, provided to Akron, Ravenna, Warren, and Youngstown public housing authorities, is funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS), and is part of more than $79 million provided to housing authorities across the country.

December 19, 2019 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today voted in favor of the renegotiated NAFTA, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Northeast Ohio has been devastated by trade agreements that made it easier and cheaper to ship American jobs overseas, and Ryan came to Washington campaigning on the need to renegotiate NAFTA. From the start, Ryan made clear that any new agreement must prioritize workers’ rights and freedoms, include substantive provisions to end outsourcing incentives, and strengthen enforcement mechanisms. This is the first trade agreement Ryan has voted for in his career.