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The mainstream media loves to talk about "work-family balance." It tells personal stories about how hard it is to juggle deadlines and suppertimes, but rarely asks why that balance is so hard, and how it can be changed. Often, motherhood is when today’s young women first face serious job discrimination and the biases against mothers that are built into American culture, family policy and many marriages.

This inter-generational panel discussion seeks to shed light on discrimination against mothers in the workplace and focus on what can be done to change things for the better. The discussion is moderated by E.J. Graff, WSRC Resident Scholar, and participants include Dana Gershengorn, Neena Pathak (’08) and Mothers Movement Online editor Judith Stadtman Tucker.

Working While Mother: What they don’t tell you…and should
May 8, 2008, 12:30-2:00 PM
Brandeis University
Epstein Building, 515 South Street
Waltham, MA

For information, please contact Lisa Lynch, 781.736.8102 or

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New Jersey Senate passes family leave insurance bill


After more than a decade of fierce opposition split largely along party lines, the New Jersey Senate passed a bill yesterday to provide state workers with partial wage replacement for up to six weeks of family and medical leave. Governor Jon Corzine has promised to sign the bill, which was passed by the state Assembly on March 14, making New Jersey the third state in the nation to enact paid leave legislation (California was the first, with Washington State following suit in 2007). The legislation was sponsored and tirelessly championed by State Senate Majority Leader Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) with grassroots support from a broad coalition of social justice, labor, and family & caregiver advocacy organizations, including New Jersey Citizen Action, ACORN, NOW NJ, National Family Caregivers Association, Mothers & More, and MomsRising. The final version of the bill passed by a 21-15 vote.

WPI reports on Senate FMLA hearing


On February 13, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Children and Families held a hearing on the past success and future challenges of the Family and Medical Leave Act. A report from The Source newsletter (published by Women's Policy, Inc., a non-profit organization that tracks women's issues in Congress) highlights testimony by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Victoria Lipnic of the Department of Labor, Deborah Ness of the National Partnership for Women and Families, and Katheryn Elliot on behalf of the Society for Human Resources Management, a business-friendly professional association.

Tax credits can provide thousands of dollars to families struggling to make ends meet, but many low-income families don't benefit from child care and family tax credits simply because they don't know the credits exist. The National Women's Law Center has created a set of tax credit fact sheets for child care advocates and family service professionals to distribute in their communities. Online resources for parents are also available. Revised to reflect 2008 tax codes, the latest fact sheets include flyers on state credits in English, Spanish and other languages, information about federal tax credits, and a tool kit to help agencies and advocates develop a community tax credit outreach plan. All materials are available from the NWLC web site's Tax Credits Outreach page.

Find out about the family tax credits available in your state.

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