According to IWPR (PDF), 24 percent of the Working Mother magazine�s 100 Best Companies of 2006 provide four or fewer weeks of paid maternity leave and 52 percent provide six weeks or less. Seven percent offer no paid maternity leave whatsoever and another seven percent provide only one to two weeks. Almost half of these companies do not provide any kind of paid leave for paternity or adoption. Working Mother is expected to release their list of the 100 Best Companies of 2007 at the end of the month.
"It is very disappointing that the majority of companies, even those lauded as exemplary, are offering such paltry maternity benefits. Since many working women depend on the ratings of the best companies, I would support Working Mother setting a higher bar," stated Martha Burk, Director of the Corporate Accountability Project of the National Council of Women�s Organizations.
Proposed federal legislation would improve benefits for working parents. The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2006 (HR 3158) would offer federal employees up to eight weeks of paid parental leave. The Family Leave Insurance Act of 2007 (S 1681) would provide eight weeks of wage replacement to workers taking leave under the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
Media Resources: Working Mother Press Release 9/25/2006; Institute for Women�s Policy Research Press Release 9/1/2007; Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) Press Release 7/25/07; Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) Press Release 6/28/07
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .