President Barack Obama will sign two new executive orders on equal pay for women Tuesday, Politico reports. The executive actions coincide with “Equal Pay Day” — the date that symbolizes
how far into 2014 women must work to earn the same amount of money men earned last year.
The Huffington Post reports that:”Both executive orders mirror provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Congress has twice failed to pass. One would prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who share their salary information with each other. The provision is inspired by Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of the first bill Obama signed on equal pay in 2009, who worked for nearly 20 years at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. before discovering that men in her same job with equal or lesser experience were earning significantly more money than she was.
“The second executive order will instruct the Department of Labor to create new regulations requiring federal contractors to report wage-related data to the government, in the hope that it will hold them more accountable for salary differences based on sex or race.
“Women who work full time in the U.S. make an average of 77 cents for every dollar men make — a number that has remained stagnant for a decade. Researchers who have taken into account factors that may contribute to that gap, including industry, education, college major and location, still find that men get paid 7 percent more than women, according to the American Association of University Women, a non-profit that works to increase equity for women and girls. The gap widens over the course of a woman’s career, especially if she has a college degree. Continue reading “Equal pay day”
California could soon be the next state to do away with Columbus Day thanks to a bill proposed by Assembly member Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina), reports Huffington Post
“The Native American Day bill, or AB 55, would replace Columbus Day, which falls on the second Monday in October, with “Native American Day.” Assembly member Hernandez proposed the bill Monday.
“Native American Day is already recognized in California. Gov. Ronald Reagan designated the fourth Friday in September for the day of remembrance in 1968, and it became an official state holiday in 1998. However, neither Columbus Day nor Native American Day are paid state holidays. Columbus Day used to be one for decades, until the recession moved California representatives to eliminate the paid holiday in 2009. Hernandez’s bill would reinstate the paid holiday, which would close down state agencies and give employees a paid day off, but rename it “Native American Day.” The September day of remembrance designated by Reagan would no longer be needed.
“We’re not trying to rewrite history,” said Assemblymember Hernandez in a phone call with The Huffington Post. “We just want to provide recognition and credit to the true discoverers of the land.” When asked about the fact that many Italian-Americans view Columbus Day as a cultural heritage celebration, Assemblymember Hernandez explained that the cultural contributions of an entire community should be viewed separately from the actions of one man. “Why replace it? That’s the day we honor Columbus for discovering the Americas,” said Hernandez. “And that’s very unfair to the original inhabitants.” He then went on to compare Native American Day to Holocaust Remembrance day. “When we honor the victims that have suffered from genocide in Germany, it isn’t to be anti-German,” he explained. “It’s to bring proper recognition to people who have suffered and been displaced. This bill is looking to do that for the original settlers in the Americas.”
More at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/columbus-day-native-american-day_n_2451999.html
With Mother’s day approaching a number of analysts have calculated the equivalent compensation for a individual doing comparable work. As Huffington Post reports: “A mother’s hypothetical pay fell for the second year in a row, dragged down by stagnating wages in the United States, according to insurance information website Insure.com.
“A mom in 2013 was worth $59,862 per year, down from $60,182 in 2012 and $61,436 in 2011, Insure.com said, calculating the salary based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.
This was the third year Insure.com released its data just ahead of Mother’s Day.
“By another measure, the “mom salary” rose slightly this year after experiencing a big dip in 2012.
The career website Salary.com, basing its pay figures from businesses employing 25 people or fewer, showed a stay-at-home mom was worth $113,586 in 2013 versus $112,962 and $115,432 in 2011. The domestic work of a mother who has another job was valued at $67,435. “The hypothetical mom salary stagnated as U.S. wages fell to a record low of 43.5 percent of GDP in 2012. For many workers, wages have been stagnant for the past decade, according to the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute. Continue reading “Happy Mother’s Day?”
A newly released digital edition of the four books of LDS or Mormon scripture—the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the
Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price—includes editorial changes that reflect a shifting official view on issues like polygamy, the Church’s history of racism, and the historicity of LDS scripture, reports Salon.com
“Perhaps the most significant is the inclusion of a new heading to precede the now-canonized 1978 announcement of the end of the LDS Church’s ban on black priesthood ordination:
“The Book of Mormon teaches that “all are alike unto God,” including “black and white, bond and free, male and female” (2 Nephi 26:33). Throughout the history of the Church, people of every race and ethnicity in many countries have been baptized and have lived as faithful members of the Church. During Joseph Smith’s lifetime, a few black male members of the Church were ordained to the priesthood. Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent. Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice. Church leaders believed that a revelation from God was needed to alter this practice and prayerfully sought guidance. The revelation came to Church President Spencer W. Kimball and was affirmed to other Church leaders in the Salt Lake Temple on June 1, 1978. The revelation removed all restrictions with regard to race that once applied to the priesthood.
“Church leaders have long maintained public ambiguity about the history of the ban and its end; they have rarely acknowledged the ordination of early African-American Mormons nor have they cited anti-racist teaching in the Book of Mormon in connection with the Church’s own troubled history on race. The new heading historicizes the ban (suggesting the influence of a robust Church History department) and depicts it as a contradiction to the original impulses of the faith, not corrected until 1978. The heading does, some commentators have noted, offer continuing cover to Brigham Young, whose on-the-record racist statements to the Utah legislature suggest his influence in the evolution of a non-ordination policy. Commentators also note the absence of reference to the fact that black women were not historically admitted to LDS temple worship until the 1978 announcement.”
Full story at: http://www.salon.com/2013/03/09/changes_in_mormon_scriptures_to_reflect_shifting_views_partner/
On this December 1, 2012, the United Nations GETTING TO ZERO campaign to eradicate HIV/AIDS reports significant progress, while also pointing out limited spending by nations that could be doing more . Getting to Zero reports a 50% drop in new diagnoses in 25 as the world approaches its 1000 day target for certain goals, described by the UN below. For more informaton, see “World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, 2012.
Continue reading ““Getting to Zero””
November 20 is the international Transgender Day of Remembrance, an opportunity for communities to come together and mark the passing of transgender and gender-variant individuals, or those perceived to be transgender.
For complete listings of events and specific memorials, see “International Transgender Day of Remembrance.”
“You know that moment when you read something, and then immediately have to re-read it because you cannot believe it is true? That happened to me when I read that the levels of slavery and people trafficking today are greater than at any point in history.” These words by Tony Maddox introduce the CNN Freedom Project, which two weeks ago won an Online Journalism Award (OJW) for its newly launched digital magazine combatting global slavery. CNN received honors in the Best Feature category for it series “Slavery’s Last Stronghold,” which followed the stories of slaves and slave owners in Mauritania, the last country in the world to abolish slavery but where it is thought between 10% and 20% of the population still live in servitude. The United Nations estimates the total market value of human trafficking at 32 billion U.S. dollars.
But slavery isn’t an abstract or far-away issue. California accounts for 25% of human trafficking in the US, with the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco leading the list of slave cities. This November, California Ballot Initiative #35 would strengthen criminal penalties for those who gain from such exploitation. Continue reading “Ending modern day slavery”