Women and Families

Advocating for Women and Families

Senator Casey has long advocated for policies to ensure that women can be full participants in America’s economy, advocating for equal pay for equal work, supporting access to childcare and paid family leave, and seeking an end to discrimination against pregnant women. As a member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, the Committee on Finance and the Joint Economic Committee, Senator Casey has had the opportunity to write and enact legislation impacting women in Pennsylvania.

  • Ending the gender pay gap: Senator Casey has cosponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 862), which would increase penalties for employers who pay different wages to men and women for equal work. Senator Casey also voted in favor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which closed a loophole to ensure that victims of pay discrimination would have legal recourse against those who discriminated against them.
  • Protecting pregnant workers: Senator Casey is the author of the bipartisan Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (S. 1512) to ensure that pregnant workers are given reasonable accommodations in the workplace, as needed, to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
  • The Flexibility for Working Families Act, introduced by Senator Casey, would guarantee employees the right to request flexible work arrangements in terms of hours, schedules or work location while also maintaining the protections of the 40-hour workweek. The bill provides employers with flexibility by encouraging them to review these requests, propose changes, and even deny them if they are not considered in the best interest of their business
  • Opportunities for Women Business Enterprise (WBE): Senator Casey introduced an amendment similar to the Subcontractor Notification Act (S. 370) to require federal prime contractors, which include a certain percentage of WBEs and disadvantaged businesses as subcontractors, to meet regulations and increase competitiveness, to ensure those same subcontractors are notified of their inclusion in federal bids. This became law in December 2012 as part of the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. Senator Casey also cosponsored the Small Business Fairness Act (S. 958) to allow small businesses to more successfully compete for larger government contracts by using teaming arrangements. The bill was included in the FY16 Defense Authorization bill, which passed into law.
  • Support for pregnant women: Senator Casey’s program, the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, was included in the Affordable Care Act. This program provided $250 million over ten years to support pregnant and parenting teens and young women as they work to complete their education. He has also introduced legislation to expand the Pregnancy Assistance Fund (S. 221).
  • Combating domestic and sexual violence: Senator Casey has fought for programs that support victims of violence and authored legislation to improve how colleges and universities respond to sexual assault. This legislation, the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, is now law.
  • Championing early learning and child care: Senator Casey recognizes that children need early learning opportunities to succeed and grow to their full potential. Study after study shows that investments in enhancing learning opportunities for our youngest children are absolutely critical to a child’s success, as well as that of their parents. Senator Casey introduced the Child CARE Act (S. 2539) to expand access to high-quality child care for families with children under age four who live at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. He also introduced the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Enhancement Act (S. 820). The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit helps individuals and families pay for care for a child, spouse or other dependent. Senator Casey’s bill will expand access to this credit, so that it is available to most working families.
  • Support for family planning: Senator Casey has consistently supported funding for the Title X National Family Planning Program, and has opposed efforts to defund nonprofits that provide important health care options to women.

Resources for Pennsylvania women:

  • If you have concerns about domestic violence or sexual abuse, there are many resources available. WomensHealth.gov provides a list of resources from federal agencies and victims’ services organizations.
  • If you have received a suspicious phone call allegedly from the IRS that you believe may be a scam, record the employee's name, badge number, call back number and caller ID if available. Call 1-800-366-4484 to determine if the caller is an IRS employee with a legitimate need to contact you.
  • If you need health insurance and are under age 65, please visit the health insurance marketplace at www.healthcare.gov for information on how to find health insurance, when to enroll, determine your family’s eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP or a subsidy for private insurance, and other resources. Open season, when anyone can enroll, occurs annually in November and December, but you may be able to enroll at another time if you experience a change like losing another source of insurance, getting married/divorced or having a baby. You can also call 1-800-318-2596, or find local help.
  • Please do not hesitate to call Senator Casey’s Harrisburg office at -717-231-7540 or visit http://casey.senate.gov/constituents/casework/.

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