On April 26, 2014, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a roundtable discussion entitled “Economic Security for Working Women.”  In his opening statement, Chairman Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) stated that “Too many working women are stuck in poor-quality, low-wage jobs, living in or near poverty, struggling to make ends meet.”  Senator Harkin also discussed the challenges faced by women due to pregnancy, family and medical leave, and caregiving more generally.  He concluded his opening remarks by calling for Congressional action to help working women, stating that “[r]aising the minimum wage, allowing women to earn paid sick days and paid family and medical leave, ensuring equal pay, requiring accommodations for pregnant workers, and allowing workers to have input into their work schedules – these are winning policies for everyone.”

The roundtable discussion included testimony from:

Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress, Washington, DC

Ellen Bravo, Executive Director, Family Values at Work, Milwaukee, WI

Amy Traub, Senior Policy Analyst, Demos, New York, NY

Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment, National Women’s Law Center, Washington, DC

Lori Pelletier, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Connecticut State Federation of Labor, Rocky Hill, CT

Armanda Legros, Low-wage worker, Jamaica Estates, NY

Gayle E. Troy, Human Resource Manager, Globe Manufacturing Company, LLC, Pittsfield, NH

Rhea Lana Riner, President, Rhea Lana’s, Inc, Conway, AR