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AOC Accuses Business Owners of Treating Pregnant Women Worse Than Dogs

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OCASIO-CORTEZ: “Madame chair, thank you so much for doing this important issue. this is an issue for me that’s personal. Most issues are but when I was growing up my parents worked four, five, six jobs a week to make ends meet. I got sick and I ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. To make sure a parent was there every day that I was in the hospital, they missed shifts at work and also the increase in hospitals that put a strain on our family. We almost bankrupted our family. And we almost lost our house. So, this is an issue I cared about when I entered into the California state legislature. And I started trying to figure out how to tackle this issue. I learned about paid family leave and I — and I — they did a study in 2014, ten years after paid family leave was implemented and they had learned a lot of lessons. It wasn’t a perfect law but it was actually a revolutionary law. It started off — nobody else had done it. But there was three things that were lacking. One was wage replacement needed to be high enough so people can actually take time off and take it. There has to be better job protection, especially for people that are working at places with less than 50 employees. And the last one was awareness. I actually introduced ab-908 that redefined and restructured the wage replacement in California so the lower workers — income workers get a higher wage replacement than the higher-income workers. We’re still seeing how that’s going to play out. But we recognize that we need to make this stronger and better. We’ve seen great statistics. 40% of men now taking time off. It’s no longer a question, why is a man taking time off to bond with a newborn child but more as an expectation. that’s a good thing. You know, ask any woman if it’s a good thing that a man will spend time with their own child to bond. They would say yes. Companies recognize that. You know, more and more companies are pushing and pushing and pushing, for paid family leave. Not just because — and it is the market. They know how to compete for the workers they need, they need to offer this benefit. So, the market is responding but that’s because we had the courage enough to pass a law that most people said would drive business out of California when California is now the economic engine and always has been of the country. So, paid family leave is a step forward but we’re making it even better. I want to focus on New Jersey because I know new jersey did a program. Just wanted to see what you guys are seeing in New Jersey when it comes to paid family leave over a decade, how many workers have been able to access paid family leave and what have been the benefit — what have the benefits been to the working families in your state?”

SHABO: “Absolutely. And the sentiments your staffers have articulated actually came up really poignantly on a panel I moderated at New America on our release of men in care report, men in paid leave specifically. There were three dads who talked about the cultural expectations that dads wouldn’t take leave. they were able to negotiate, to cobble together. One of them had a wife who had a horrible labor and a baby that was in the NICU and he was back to work within a week. Unknowing — we talked about how even in the childbirth classes and Lamaze and all the things he did, there was never a discussion from the hospital system or his employer or from any of the other men in his life about the importance of men taking leave. So, policy is a precondition. We have to design policies that have wage replacement that’s high enough that men can afford to take leave. We also need a culture and a discussion. Men standing up to say, leave-taking is important to me and here’s the way it allowed me not just to bond with my child but support my partner.”

OCASIO-CORTEZ: “Thank you. Ms. Greszlar, you said you don’t believe in a minimum wage, is that correct, you believe the market should decide?”

GRESZLER: “I don’t think we should take a job opportunity away from somebody if they’re willing to work at a particular wage —“

OCASIO-CORTEZ: “You don’t believe in a minimum wage. I take it you don’t believe in health care as a right either, is that correct?”

GRESZLER: “I believe we should help provide access to health care.”

OCASIO-CORTEZ: “Do you believe employers should offer health care to every employee they have?”

GRESZLER: “I think that as part of a benefits package, they should determine what is the best way and what do the workers want?”

OCASIO-CORTEZ: “No, you don’t believe it should be uniformly offered.”

Greszler: “I think it should be what workers want and what employers —“

OCASIO-CORTEZ: “the answer is no. similarly, your view on parental leave is to let the market decide. I think what we’ve seen here is the market has decided. Ms. Shabo, 80% of families don’t have access and workers don’t have access to paid worker leave, correct?”

SHABO: “Paid family leave. To care for a child or family member —“

OCASIO-CORTEZ: “So the markets decide what is the most common length of parental or paid family leave you have seen?”

SHABO: “In general, it’s like six to eight weeks, but it really depends. There’s not a great sample that tells us.”

OCASIO-CORTEZ: “Six weeks. Do we know how long puppies are allowed to stay with their mothers after a dog has given birth?”

SHABO: “I don’t.”

OCASIO-CORTEZ: “Eight weeks. So, the market has decided that women and people who give birth deserve less time with their children than a dog. And I think that that at its core has shown that the market has failed to treat people with dignity and with basic respect. And so when that happens, I think it’s our job as the public to redefine the rules of society and to treat people who give birth with the dignity that they deserve. Thank you very much.”

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker,, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

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