Caroline Fredrickson

Recent Articles

Will the Court Restrict Abortion to the Wealthy?

As the Supreme Court prepares to rule on Texas abortion restrictions in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, low-income women face the prospect that the procedure will become so costly as to be essentially illegal.

Olivier Douliery/Sipa USA via AP Images
The United States has failed to harness the economic potential of women and people of color, concludes a recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that points to a gender wage gap, the use of criminal records in hiring decisions, and a lack of support for paid family leave and child care as the main culprits But in a major omission, the June 17 report failed to note another important factor blocking women from full economic participation: a growing set of restrictions on women’s reproductive autonomy, which have a disproportionate impact on low-income women. As the Supreme Court prepares to decide on the blockbuster abortion case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt , it’s worth remembering that one of the ruling’s main implications will be economic. That’s because women’s control of their own fertility is a key driver of our nation’s economic success. Women’s economic well-being, moreover, is also a core...

It's Not Just Uber: Why the Taxi Industry Needs an Overhaul

Many of the abuses Uber drivers face are standard practice for traditional cab companies. 

The email came from John Doe. He called himself “just another Uber driver,” and wanted to remain anonymous for fear of being blacklisted by the company for airing his complaints in public. Troubled by recent announcements by Uber regarding its revamped and expanded car leasing program, he reached out to me to air his grievances and to express concern for his future. He wrote, “Uber has repeatedly argued that they are an app-based technology platform, connecting rides and drivers. However, financing, owning, and managing a fleet of cars makes them identical to a taxi cab company.” Supporters of Uber laud its convenience for customers who are justifiably tired of unreliable and shoddy taxi services. Critics of Uber point to its pants-on-fire lie that it is merely a software company and not a car service as well as its misclassification of drivers as contractors. Both sides are wrong and both are right, which shows there is more consensus than most observers...

We Are All Independent Contractors Now

In the precarious new economy, no profession is safe from casualization. 

“Hang out a shingle,” or in other words, freelance—that’s the advice given to many law school graduates today, faced with the daunting odds of getting a job at a law firm. While the legal job market has shown a slight uptick since the recent recession, that’s only because more lawyers are working in part-time and contingent positions, barely pulling down enough to pay the rent, let alone pay back the six-figure loans they took out to pay for their legal education. Having gone to law school with dreams of being a star litigator and commanding a six figure salary, more and more of these professionals work contract to contract, often for as little as $15 an hour, doing the scut work of the law—tedious and mind-numbing document review for 10 or more hours at a stretch. Just as in other parts of the economy, companies and law firms are using legal temps and contractors to lower costs, creating a burgeoning workforce with only tenuous ties to any single...

Legions of Women Workers in U.S. Still Lack Minimum Wage and Labor Protections

The legacy of slavery and prescribed gender roles continues to rob millions of their fair share.

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
It’s Women’s History Month—what a nice idea to recognize that women actually make history and aren’t just along to make dinner for the history-makers! In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared seven days in March to be National Women's History Week, and President Ronald Reagan followed suit. In 1987, Congress expanded the commemoration on the calendar, giving women a whole month. We have come so far. Putting sarcasm aside, it is true that the 20th century included concrete advances for women in America. Starting with the New Deal, women workers won a number of job protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the National Labor Relations Act. Later came the Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Workers gained the right to earn a minimum wage and work a limited number of hours per week or get paid overtime; they were allowed to join unions and...