Women make up half our state and head two-thirds of our households as breadwinners or co-breadwinners. Yet the vast majority of California’s minimum wage workers are women, and one-half of Latina and African American single mothers live in poverty. This has an enormous impact on the well-being and economic security of California’s women, children, and families.
Studies show that advancing equality and investing in women strengthens families and has the highest return for the health, education, and general prosperity of entire communities. Still, working women in California (and particularly women of color) continue to experience pervasive sexual harassment and systemic discrimination in pay, promotions, and access to higher-paying jobs. As parents and caregivers, women are further disadvantaged by “family responsibility” bias, lack of affordable child care, and continued resistance to family-friendly work policies such as paid family leave and predictable scheduling rules. Although California leads the country in many areas of women’s employment rights, much more needs to be done to ensure that these rights are enforced and expanded to reach all women, including low-wage employees, domestic workers, immigrants, and single mothers juggling full-time work and family responsibilities.
Public Counsel’s Audrey Irmas Project for Women and Girls’ Rights works to create more equitable and just conditions at school and in the workplace for women, girls, and people of all gender identities because we believe that everyone deserves the chance to learn, grow and thrive with safety, dignity, and respect.
To request legal help with an employment law issue, please visit our services page:
Or, for information about your legal rights, contact our Workplace Rights Advice Line: