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
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan today introduced legislation to help hardworking Americans pay down their mortgages. The Building Equity for the American Middle-Class Act (BEAM Act) would create a 50% refundable tax credit on additional principal payments individuals make to their monthly required payment, up to $1000.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan applauds the finalization of a new Department of Labor rule that would effectively double the salary threshold for those eligible for overtime pay. Under this new rule those making at or below $47,476 per year will now be eligible for overtime compensation. Currently, workers earning more than $23,660 per year are not eligible for these benefits. The Department of Labor estimates approximately 4.2 million salaried workers will be affected by this rule change based on their salaries.
Akron and Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan today congratulates the cities of Akron and Youngstown for being selected by Reinvestment Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to take part in the new Invest Health initiative, aimed at transforming how leaders from mid-size American cities work together to help low-income communities thrive.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan made the following statement on the U.S. Treasury Department’s rejection of the Central States Pension Fund’s proposed plan that would have cut the pensions of more than 47,000 Ohioans and 10 million Americans nationwide.
“I applaud the Department of Treasury for making the right decision and rejecting this atrocious plan that would have decimated tens of thousands of Ohioans, including 4,000 in my district, and millions of Americans’ retirement. It is not only wrong, but immoral to gut the pensions that these hard working Americans earned.
Youngstown, Ohio - Congressman Tim Ryan announces $791,700 for the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport to acquire snow removal equipment.
Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan announces the certification petition for Trade Adjustment Assistance for Warren companies MSSL Wiring System, Inc. and Adecco Staffing.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan spoke at the United Steelworkers annual Rapid Response Conference in Washington DC last night. The conference was centered around unfair trade, specifically the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Ryan made the following statement:
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan announces $45.5 million in federal tax credits from the National Park Service for certified rehabilitation work on historic buildings across Akron and Youngstown. Goodyear Hall in Akron will receive $31 million in tax credits and the Wick Building in Youngstown will receive $14.5 million in tax credits.
Vienna, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan and Senator Sherrod Brown host a seminar today at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS) to help Mahoning Valley small businesses learn about opportunities to work with the federal government. Ryan and Brown will speak at the workshop.
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan continued his fight today to protect the pensions of more 47,000 Ohioans and 10 million Americans nationwide. Ryan attended and spoke at a rally today with the Teamsters at the U.S. Capitol Building and made a speech on the House Floor to advocate on behalf for these Ohioans and Americans who are facing cuts to their pensions.