National Partnership for Women & Families

POLL: Significant Support for Economic Policies for Working Families

National poll shows broad support for pay equity, raising the minimum wage and paid leave; findings a call to action for nation’s leaders
WASHINGTON, D.C. — February 12, 2014 —

A survey released today shows significant, bipartisan support for public policies that help America’s families achieve and maintain economic security. On the heels of several proposals in Congress aimed at increasing economic opportunity, the survey shows a demand for these policies and a movement to support leaders who prioritize working families.

The survey, commissioned by American Women, the National Partnership for Women & Families, and the Rockefeller Family Fund, shows broad majorities of likely 2014 voters favor public policies that help families get ahead, including:

  • Raising the minimum wage;
  • Making it harder for employers to pay women less than men for similar work;
  • Guaranteeing workers the ability to earn paid sick time; and
  • Creating a national paid family and medical leave fund.

Furthermore, the poll results show that voters are more likely to support a candidate who is in favor of these policies – a higher minimum wage, fair pay for women, paid sick days, and paid family and medical leave.

“Evidence of broad, bipartisan, support amongst men and women for an economic agenda that works for all families makes it clear we should be going full steam ahead to support leaders with the right priorities in mind,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of American Women. “It’s clear working families are struggling to make ends meet and want to support leaders with policies that make life a little easier for families to get ahead, not just get by.”

Voters strongly support measures that would close the wage gap between men and women, including the Paycheck Fairness Act. A previous American Women survey identified closing the wage gap as the number one workplace issue among women.

“The majority of Americans believe closing the wage gap will strengthen our families and our economy and they strongly support several paths to pay equity – including raising the minimum wage – which will affect many more women than men – and ending gender discrimination,” said Lisa Guide, associate director of the Rockefeller Family Fund. “Clearly, the public will to close the wage gap is wide and building.”

Voters also strongly support a proposal to create a new paid family and medical leave insurance program, introduced in Congress last December as the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would provide 12 weeks of leave when people need time from work for serious family and medical needs.

“These new survey data add to the growing body of evidence showing that women and men, no matter their political affiliation, are deeply dissatisfied with the status quo and see an acute need for public policies that will make workplaces fairer and more family friendly for women and all workers,” said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “Not only do voters support the FAMILY Act and the national paid leave program it would create, as well as measures to promote fair pay and combat gender-based wage discrimination, but they are also counting on lawmakers to take meaningful action on these issues very soon.”

The poll was conducted on January 29-30, 2014, by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research and The Feldman Group, Inc. The survey also included an oversample of likely Latino voters in Florida.

The full polling memo can be viewed online here.

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Quotes from Members of Congress:

 

“Women need a raise so they can raise their families,” said U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), lead sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act. “That’s why I’ve introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act and am fighting in the Senate to ensure that women will no longer be fighting on their own for equal pay for equal work. This poll further demonstrates that a living wage and fair pay are not just for our pocketbooks, they’re about family checkbooks and getting it right in the law books.”

“This new poll clearly shows Congress needs to catch up to the American people and finally update work place rules to meet the needs of today's working families,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), lead sponsor of the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act. “Paid leave is an earned benefit that should be available to every worker in America – no matter how big a company you work for, whether you’re part-time, or self-employed – and it costs less than the price of a cup of coffee a week. When any one of us – man or woman – needs time to care for a dying parent – we should not have to sacrifice our job and risk our future to do the right thing for our family.”

“Closing the wage gap, raising the minimum wage and ensuring workplaces reflect modern society will help everyone, and – as this poll demonstrates – have broad support,” said U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), lead sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act.“ We all know that when women succeed, America succeeds and this poll shows that Americans want Congress to enact laws that will help them and their families.”

“These findings confirm the need for Congress to pass ‘When Women Succeed, America Succeeds: An Economic Agenda for Women and Families.’ The support for policies such as affordable child care, raising the minimum wage, and ensuring equal pay are overwhelming and transcend gender, race, and party affiliation,” said U.S. Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD), an original co-sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act. “Americans across the country want policies that promote economic security for families, and it is time for Congress to take action.”

Contact

Sadie Kliner (202) 986-2600 skliner@nationalpartnership.org

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.

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