Op-ed: How the Return to Office Work Is Impoverishing the Middle Class

December 14, 2021

Read Work Life Law Director Joan C. William’s op-ed in Politico highlighting the financial hardship many middle-income workers are experiencing due a lack of workplace flexibility that is becoming increasingly available to higher-income workers. The piece discusses the long-term implications of blanket return-to-office policies for gender and racial equality as well as employer and government policies that can make a difference.



New Report: The Elephant in the (Well-Designed) Room: An Investigation into Bias in the Architecture Profession

December 6, 2021

We found an elephant in the room: white men are having a different experience than all other groups in architecture workplaces. Women of color reported the worst experiences overall, with white women and men of color falling in between. Read the full report here. 

The problem is real, but so is the solution. Our report includes Bias Interrupters toolkits for interrupting bias in hiring, assignments, performance evaluations, meetings, family leave and workplace flexibility.


WorkLife Law Cares: GoFund Me Campaign

November 30, 2021

Our “Care Comes of Age” GoFundMe campaign is both a celebration of the progress we’ve made to advance the workplace rights of family caregivers over the last 25 years and a call to action to ensure this pivotal moment produces lasting change. Your generous support enables us to continue this critical work to advance legal protections for family caregivers. Read our Annual Newsletter here.


A Message of Hope for Breastfeeding Workers from Staff Attorney Jessica Lee

November 12, 2021


At the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee biannual Membership Meeting, WorkLife Law staff attorney Jessica Lee addressed USBC’s 100+ member organizations, who are working collaboratively to drive policy and practice changes that create a landscape of breastfeeding support. Watch Jessica’s inspiring “Mission Moment” — acknowledging both the struggles of this unprecedented time and the hope on the horizon for working families. As Jessica says, “We’re close to seeing some of the biggest changes and advances in racial equity in maternal and infant health in a decade, if not a generation…The PUMP Act, and so many of the efforts that give me hope, have only happened because of the community fostered here at the USBC. You bring our diverse experiences and skills together to make a beautiful and strong force working on behalf of families.”


PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act Passes with Bipartisan Support in U.S. House of Representatives

October 22, 2021

Center for WorkLife Law celebrates the House passage of the bipartisan Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act (H.R. 3110). This bill would address legislative gaps that have created challenges for breastfeeding families and employers alike.
“Today’s House vote to pass the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act represents an important step in fixing broken policies that force women to choose between their jobs and their family’s wellbeing,” said Liz Morris, Deputy Director of the Center for WorkLife Law. “As detailed in our report, Exposed: Discrimination Against Breastfeeding Workers, nearly 2/3 of breastfeeding discrimination cases end in job loss; something we simply cannot afford during the pandemic as millions of women have been forced to leave the workforce because of their caregiving responsibilities. The PUMP Act is bipartisan legislation that would ensure lactating workers no longer lose their jobs or face serious health consequences because they lack basic legal rights.”
Read our joint press release here.


WorkLife Law Launches Dar a Luz to Empower Farmworkers in Pregnancy and Postpartum

September 23, 2021

In 2019, WorkLife Law advocated with California’s Employment Development Department (EDD), which administers the state’s worker-funded State Disability Insurance (SDI), to ensure that farmworkers could access critical paid leave early in pregnancy. Dar a Luz, a collaboration with the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), continues this critical effort to support and empower farmworkers who need paid time off work to avoid harmful exposure to agricultural toxins during pregnancy, and the postpartum and nursing period.


New Toolkit on Centering Pregnant and Parenting Students in the Transition Back to Campus

September 1, 2021

As the U.S. heads into the second fall of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of student parents enrolled in college are returning to in person instruction at the same time as their children. The new toolkit from the Center for WorkLife Law’s Pregnant Scholar Initiative offers concrete guidance on how to return to on-campus instruction in a way is inclusive of pregnant and parenting students.


WorkLife Law’s Summer Research Assistant

August 31, 2021

This summer, UC Berkeley student Kybeth Ruiz-Gaytan joined the Center for WorkLife Law team as a research assistant. Kybeth investigated current employer policies and employee needs, which culminated in the creation of our new Toolkit for Centering Equity in the Transition to Hybrid Work. She also added to the Center’s research database by conducting literature reviews focused on how bias plays out for individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community and people with disabilities.


WorkLife Law’s Mark Hart Fellow

August 23, 2021

This summer, Loyola Marymount University student Kylie Francisco joined the Center for WorkLife Law team as our Mark Hart Fellow. Working with, Director Joan C. Williams, Kylie investigated the impact of race and social class in recent presidential elections, with a particular focus on comparing the voting patterns of college-educated and non college-educated voters. Her analysis of polling data and qualitative studies over the last three months provide enormous insight on why class matters in today’s political climate.  This opportunity would not have been possible without the generous contribution of the Mark Hart Fellowship.



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