The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Workers' Rights

Across America, working families are dedicated to the economic advancement to promote fairness in the workplace and establish policies that help men and women meet the dual demands of work and family. Yet all too often, workers who attempt to join unions, assert other rights in the workplace, or file complaints with protection or civil rights agencies face employer threats, retaliation and discrimination.

Other issues affecting the well-being of working Americans include tax cuts, bankruptcy reform, and the minimum wage.

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President Obama Signs Jobs Bill; Groups Call for More Comprehensive Legislation

March 18, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

Today, President Obama signed a jobs bill into law.

Many experts believe the $18 billion bill, which includes tax breaks for small businesses, will have limited effect on the nation's unemployment and underemployment rates, but nonetheless think it's an important first step toward more federal action to address the jobs crisis.


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Senate Inaction Causes 200,000 to Lose Unemployment Benefits This Week

March 2, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

UPDATE 3/3: Late last night, the Senate passed 78-19 a 30-day extension of unemployment insurance and COBRA.

Two hundred thousand jobless workers will lose their unemployment benefits this week as a result of the Senate's failure to extend unemployment insurance and COBRA last week, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP).


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Civil Rights and Progressive Organizations Call for Comprehensive Jobs Bill

February 19, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

A broad cross-section of the civil rights and progressive community, including The Leadership Conference, is calling on Congress to enact a jobs bill that will rescue millions of struggling Americans from job loss and foreclosure.


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Video: What the Federal Government Must Do to Tackle Unemployment

February 10, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

Last week, the Jobs for America Now coalition, which includes The Leadership Conference, hosted an informative webinar examining the dire effects of the U.S. jobs crisis and the steps that must be taken to enable Americans to get back to work.


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Minority Unemployment Rates to Hit Record High This Year

January 15, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

The unemployment rate for African Americans is set to soar to a 25-year high of 17.2 percent by the third quarter of this year, according to a new study by the Economic Policy Institute. The rate for Latinos is also expected to hit a record high of 13.9 percent this year.


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Job Creation Must Target Communities of Color Hit Hardest by the Recession

January 8, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

In response to the latest unemployment figures from the Department of Labor, a coalition of civil rights groups, including the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the Center for American Progress (CAP), the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs, and the NAACP, are calling on Congress to target job creation to communities hit hardest by the economic recession.

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House Extends Benefits for the Unemployed; New Coalition Calls for Stronger Action

December 17, 2009 - Posted by Ron Bigler

The House on Wednesday passed another six-month extension of unemployment benefits and extended the COBRA health care subsidy that was set to expire at the end of December.

The COBRA benefit — created under the stimulus bill earlier this year — pays for 65 percent of a laid-off worker's cost of continuing coverage under an employer's health insurance plan. For many families, it is the only way they can continue to pay for coverage. According to Families USA, the average cost for family coverage under an employer COBRA plan was $1,111. The bill now moves on to the Senate.

The unemployment and COBRA insurance extensions are critical lifelines for millions of Americans trying to survive the worst recession since the Great Depression. But they are only stop-gap measures.

A broad coalition of 60 organizations, including The Leadership Conference, is calling on Congress to pass legislation now that will put millions of Americans back on the job.


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President Obama Sharpens Focus on Jobs, Relief for the Unemployed

December 9, 2009 - Posted by Ron Bigler

Calling the current jobs crisis affecting millions of Americans a "continuing human tragedy," President Obama this week outlined a series of steps intended to boost job growth and continue relief for the unemployed.

The plan includes expanding tax breaks and incentives to small businesses, increasing spending on infrastructure, and a new program of tax rebates for retrofitting homes for energy efficiency. The president also called for the extension of emergency benefits for the unemployed and support for local governments facing budget shortfalls and layoffs.

"We avoided the depression many feared," Obama said in a speech at the Brookings Institution. But, he stressed, "Our work is far from done." 


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Civil Rights Groups Seek Urgent Response to U.S. Jobs Crisis

November 18, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Wade Henderson

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, speaking on the jobs crisis at the Economic Policy Institute. November 2009.

Civil rights and progressive organizations, including the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza, the AFL-CIO, and the Center for Community Change, have joined the Economic Policy Institute in calling attention to the urgent need to address the current jobs crisis in light of new unemployment data released for October 2009

The national jobs crisis has become a major barrier to progress in our country. Without job security, families will continue to lose their homes and will stop saving for their own retirement or their children's education.  Job security is also essential because the decisions and sacrifices made by the families hit the hardest today will have lasting repercussions for years to come.  For example, young adults who must work to support their families instead of attending school will find themselves disadvantaged when competing for work in the future.


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New Report Finds Greater Diversity in U.S. Union Membership

November 10, 2009 - Posted by Ron Bigler

The popular image of a typical union member in the United States has been of a middle-age White man working in a factory. While that may have been true a quarter century ago, it is far from accurate today, as a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) finds.

Almost half of unionized workers (45 percent) in 2008 were women, up from 35 percent in 1983, according to "The Changing Face of Labor 1983 - 2008." The report, which analyzes demographic trends in the union workforce over the last 25 years, predicts that, based on current trends, women will be the majority of union members before 2020. 

The report also found that:  

  • Latinos (12 percent) are the fastest growing ethnic group in the labor movement, up from just 5.8 percent in 1983.
  • Asians (4.6 percent) have nearly doubled as a percentage of the union workforce since 1989 (2.5 percent). 
  • The share of Black workers in the unionized workforce has held fairly steady at 13 percent since 1983, while there has been a large decline in the representation of White workers in the same period.


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