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Senator Hassan Reintroduces Paid Sick Leave Bill

 Healthy Families Act would help hard-working Americans, protect public health, and strengthen the economy

WASHINGTON – This week, Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined her colleagues in the Senate and House in introducing the Healthy Families Act, which would allow Granite State workers to earn paid sick leave to use when they are sick, to care for a loved one, to obtain preventative care, or to address the impacts of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. Currently, 41 million workers across the nation do not have access to paid sick leave, forcing them to take time off with no pay, and at times even risk their jobs when they or a loved one is sick. 

“Ensuring that our workers have the flexibility to support themselves and their families during times of need is critical to maintaining a healthy and productive workforce and a strong economy,” Senator Hassan said. “I’m proud to join in reintroducing the Healthy Families Act to help ensure that no hard-working American is forced to choose between their health and economic security. I’ll continue working across the aisle to expand paid family leave in order to strengthen our families, our businesses, and our economy.”

The Healthy Families Act would allow workers at businesses with at least 15 employees to earn up to 56 hours, or seven days, of paid sick leave each year. This would allow workers to stay home when they are ill, to care for a sick family member, seek preventive medical care, or seek assistance related to domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. 

Businesses that already provide paid sick leave would not have to change their current policies, as long as they meet the minimum standards of the Healthy Families Act. Studies show that paid sick leave can reduce the spread of contagious diseases like the flu and a national paid sick day policy would reduce emergency room visits by 1.3 million annually, saving $1.1 billion a year.

Senator Hassan is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

 

Concord’s First Baby Of The Year Highlights The Need For Paid Sick And Family Leave

Image by shira gal on Flickr CC

This morning the Concord Monitor ran the usual ‘First Baby of the New Year‘ article.  Overall the article is cute and joyful however there was one reoccurring theme that really irritated me.

Lamar Austin had to choose whether to go to work or to go to the hospital with is wife, Lindsay.

His nine-months-pregnant wife, Lindsay, was in her second day of early labor, but his boss was telling him if he didn’t show up for his shift as a part-time security guard in Manchester, he would lose his job,” Leah Willingham wrote in the Monitor.

Yes, you read that correctly.  His boss threatened to fire him if he did not show up for work even though he was going to the hospital to be there for the birth of his child and to be there for his wife.

After weighing his options, Lamar came to the realization, family comes first.

I thought, ‘Family comes before anything else.I’m not going to turn my back on them for a job.

Personally I think Lamar made the right decision.  Having three children of my own, I remember being in the hospital operating room with wife, when each of my children were born.  I could not imagine not being there for my wife as she undergoes surgery or missing that special moment of holding my children for the first time.

However, Lamar’s employer (unnamed in the article) did not care about his wife going into labor and I am assuming that they offer no paid sick or family leave because as the happy couple headed off to Concord Hospital, Lamar received a text from his boss saying, “He was officially terminated.”

That is right, Lamar was fired for choosing to be with his wife as she went to the hospital to deliver their child.

This is outrageous.  I only wish I knew who his employer was so I could shame them by name but sadly this is probably more common than any of us realize.

Without any paid sick or family leave more and more working people must make a choice and risk loosing their jobs to be there for the birth of their child, to stay home when they are sick, or to stay home when their children are sick.

A 2015 survey showed that, “51 percent of food workers go to work “always” or “frequently” when they’re sick.”

Would you like the fries or the flu with your steak tonight?

Lamar’s situation is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to paid sick and family leave.  “According to a 2003 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, sick employees at the office cost the national economy $160 billion in lost productivity every year.” (HuffPo)

We can make our workplaces better, more efficient, and healthier by ensuring that all workers have paid sick and family leave.  We need to protect all workers so they do not have to choose between losing their job and missing the birth of their child or staying home when they come down with the flu.


UPDATE 1-4-17:

The Monitor did a follow up story on Lamar this morning: “Companies can fire employees for most reasons, including missing a shift due to birth of baby boy.”

You can read the NH Labor News follow up at this link.

 


Paid sick and family leave will definitely be coming up in the NH Legislative session. Stay tuned to find out how you can help get this legislation through the NH Legislature.

Working Women in the U.S. Have Less than Forty Minutes Of Personal Time A Day

AFLCIO Equal Pay Equal SayNew AFL-CIO report reveals working women are overstretched at home and on the job

(Washington, DC, March 17, 2016) – A new report released by the AFL-CIO reveals that over half of working women spend less than four hours a week on themselves after fulfilling their work and care giving responsibilities. The report is based on the results of a survey on women which received nearly 25,000 responses from union and non-union women across the country.

“This survey offers a telling glimpse into the issues that matter most to America’s working women,” said Secretary Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Liz Shuler. “As a woman and a union member myself, I understand the constant balancing act that many women are forced to play. I also know that union membership opens doors to leadership opportunities and economic power for women.”

The AFL-CIO launched the National Survey of Working Women last fall in an effort to gain a multi-faceted picture of American women. AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler released the survey results today alongside local working women, the AFL-CIO Women’s Committee and Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Bobby Scott, Lois Frankel and Doris Matsui.

“As a single parent, being a part of UFCW has made life for my family and I so much more secure,” said Kim Mitchell of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400. “I am not a faceless employee. I have a voice – a voice I wouldn’t have if I didn’t belong to a union. As a union member, I am somebody.”

The results included critical information about women voters for presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle. Women, who comprise a critical voting bloc, reported being most concerned with the issues of affordable healthcare, equal pay, affordable higher education, and raising the minimum wage.

“The results of the National Survey of Working Women reflect what I have been hearing from working women all across the nation: they are working harder than ever but still can’t make ends meet, too many are forced to make an impossible choice between caring for their families and providing for them, and pay discrimination makes it impossible to just break even, let alone get ahead,” said Representative Bobby Scott. “The good news is that joining a union is one of the surest ways that workers can raise their pay, and secure benefits like paid leave and fair work schedules. That’s why I introduced the Workplace Action for a Growing Economy Act, to strengthen women’s ability to speak up together, and to help them make a better life for themselves and their families.”

The survey revealed that 59% of women fill the role of primary breadwinner in their household and that women view healthcare costs and low wages as major barriers to their economic stability.

“Millions of American women are juggling work and family responsibilities and it is not getting any easier. From equal pay and an increased minimum wage, to affordable healthcare and paid leave, nearly 25,000 working women have made their voices known in this survey and spoken on the issues that can help families succeed,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. “Now it is up to Congress to listen and to enact legislation that makes the workplace a better place for all women. We can start by passing the FAMILY Act, to guarantee paid family and medical leave for all employees, and the Healthy Families Act, to allow workers have access to job-protected paid sick days. The time to act is now. The American worker deserves nothing less.”

In addition to being the breadwinner and financial decision maker for their families, the survey found that over 25% of women spend over 30 hours a week on caregiving activities.

“Women know how to get things done – whether at home or in the workplace,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “Yet, as the AFL-CIO’s survey clearly demonstrates, too often women are stretched between the responsibilities of childcare, caring for aging loved ones, and their increasingly expanded role in the American workforce. It is past time we update our outdated policies to reflect the realities that women face today, and elevate the economic issues facing women in America.”

“Women are both breadwinners and caregivers in a growing number of households” Representative Lois Frankel said. “This report shows how critical closing the gender gap is for America’s working families. It’s time for this country to make women’s equality more than a slogan and enact meaningful paycheck fairness policies.”

The comprehensive report can be found online here.

The Economic Policy Institute Unveils Their ‘Women’s Economic Agenda’

New ‘Women’s Economic Agenda’ focuses on closing the wage gap between men and woman while lifting the wages of all workers 

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We need an economy that works for everyone not just a select few. Research shows that we are putting working women, specifically women of color, at a severe disadvantage.

We already know that women on average only earn $.70 cents on the dollar compared to men in the same job. The wage gap harms a woman’s chance of economic prosperity and slows economic growth.

The wage gap is closing, however this is not all good news. From 1980 to the present the wage gap has gone from 62% to 82% of men’s wages. On the surface this would appear to be great news, except that 40% of the gains, made by women to close the wage gap, actually came from the fact that men’s wages are falling. The average wage for men dropped from $20.13 in 1980 to $18.35 today.

Ensuring that all workers are paid equally for equal work is important, but that should not be due to the fact that men’s wages are falling. We need to lift all the wages of all workers together.

Today, the Economic Policy Institute released its Women’s Economic Agenda, a set of 12 bold yet achievable proposals that push the discussion about women’s economic security beyond closing the gender wage gap. While closing the gap between men and women’s wages is essential to bring genuine economic security to women and their families, policymakers must do more. Policies in the agenda include raising the minimum wage, ending discriminatory practices that contribute to gender inequality, providing paid family leave, and increasing access to high-quality child care. If implemented, these policies could raise women’s wages by as much as 70 percent.

“Raising wages and boosting economic security for women is an essential part of growing and strengthening America’s middle class,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who spoke at the agenda’s unveiling. “The proposals in EPI’s Women’s Economic Agenda would be powerful steps forward in the fight to level the playing field for women and families across the country.”

“The gender wage gap is only one way the economy shortchanges women,” said Alyssa Davis research assistant for the Economic Policy Institute. “Only when we take a holistic approach to women’s wages and seek to eliminate both the gender wage gap and the economic inequality gap will women reach their potential in the economy.”

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The full complement of policies in the Women’s Economic Agenda is:

  1. Raise the minimum wage—raising the federal minimum wage to $12 by 2020 would boost wages for one-fourth of the workforce, or 35 million working people—56 percent of whom are women.
  2. Eliminate the tipped minimum wage—two-thirds of tipped workers are women, yet they still make less than their male counterparts. At the median, women tipped workers make $10.07 per hour, while men make $10.63 (including tips).
  3. Strengthen collective bargaining rights—women in unions are more likely to be paid higher wages and have access to benefits such as paid sick days and pensions.
  4. End discriminatory practices that contribute to race and gender inequalities—black women earn 65.4 percent and Hispanic women earn 56.5 percent of white men’s hourly earnings.
  5. Provide paid family leave—only 12 percent of private-sector employees have access to paid family leave. Without paid family leave policies, workers (particularly women) have difficulty balancing the demands of work and family.
  6. Provide paid sick leave—ensuring that working women can earn paid sick time would let them meet their responsibilities at work and at home without compromising their family’s economic security.
  7. Require fair scheduling practices—over one-third of women hourly workers in their prime childrearing years receive their work schedules with advance notice of one week or less.
  8. Provide accessible, affordable, high-quality child care and early childhood education—accessible child care would ensure that parents do not need to choose between leaving the labor force and affording quality child care
  9. Protect and expand Social Security—the average female retiree receives over $300 less per Social Security check than her male counterpart.
  10. Provide undocumented workers a path to citizenship—women are concentrated in many occupations likely to be held by undocumented workers.
  11. Support strong enforcement of labor standards—women are more likely than men to be victims of wage theft, and are a majority of workers who would benefit from expanded overtime protections.
  12. Prioritize wage growth and very low unemployment when making monetary policy—better wage growth is crucial to ensuring that gender and racial wage gaps close for the right reasons, with wages rising for all groups but more rapidly for groups currently disadvantaged in labor markets.

Speaker Ryan Has Three Goals: Destroy Social Security, Medicare And The USPS

Paul Ryan (FLIKR CC Starley Shelton)

Paul Ryan (FLIKR CC Starley Shelton)

Koch Brothers darling Multi Millionaire Congressman Paul Ryan is leaping back on to the national stage as Speaker of the House of Representatives. Mr Ryan was initially hesitant citing family concerns (despite the fact he is an opponent of paid leave for ordinary Americans)  but eventually was swayed by other GOP leaders to take the job. Ryan, who seems fixated on reducing retirement benefits for both the American public and especially federal workers, will have a larger platform to try to make these cuts a reality. Clearly these ideas are unpopular to many but as Paul Krugman brilliantly stated, Ryan is “the best con man they got.”  Republicans are using him to sell their treasure trove of unpopular policies to the apathetic American Public

Ryan was an architect of George Bush’s  failed plan to partially privatize  Social Security in 2005. More recently Ryan has teamed up with Congressman Darrell Issa to push the idea of reducing Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) benefits for Federal Workers. In a letter to the Congressional Budget Office they emphasized that the CBO should consider “different options for reforming FERS, based on changes made in recent years to other large pension plans, both public and private. The report should include, but not limit itself to, adjusting the retirement contributions of federal employees, altering the formula for computing pension benefit payments, and expanding the defined contribution component while reducing the defined benefit component.” This sounds quite ominous for Federal Workers. The intent is crystal clear.

As outlined in The New Yorker Ryan believes the only reason privatization failed in 2005 was because of the way it was marketed.

“The Administration did a bad job of selling it,” he told me. Bush had campaigned on national-security issues, only to pitch Social Security reform after reelection. “And . . . thud,” Ryan said. “You’ve got to prepare the country for these things. You can’t just spring it on them after you win.” The lesson: “Don’t let the engineers run the marketing department.”

 

Here is where the job of being an elite con man comes into play.

10404189_10153548324976418_913827613849190064_nAfter repeatedly emphasizing he did not want the Speaker’s job he abruptly changed his mind and accepted it. Publicly he worried that “its a job for a empty nester” not a person with young children.  “I cannot and will not give up my family time,” he told reporters before abruptly changing his mind.  Curiously Ryan has been a staunch opponent of paid family leave despite the fact the United States is the only industrialized country in the world that does not offer paid family leave.  Astonishingly this country ranks last in government supported time off for new parents.

“Paul Ryan is rightly concerned about his job’s impact on his spouse and children,” said Judy Conti, federal advocacy coordinator at the National Employment Law Project. “Yet [he] isn’t willing to guarantee that all workers… have the necessary tools to balance their work and family obligations.”

“For workers without paid family leave, taking time off to care for a new baby or a seriously ill loved one can have devastating long-term financial consequences, ranging from racking up credit card debt to raiding savings to bankruptcy,” Dina Bakst, co-founder and co-president of A Better Balance, told ABC News. “Paid family leave would provide a critical safety net for these working families in their times of need.”

Make no mistake Speaker Ryan will be pushing an agenda that is quite friendly to Multi Millionaires children at the expense of working families.  “My greatest worry is the consequence of not stepping up, of some day having my own kids ask me, ‘When the stakes were so high, why didn’t you do all you could? Why didn’t you stand and fight for my future when you had the chance?'” Ryan said to reporters. His children do not have to worry he will make life easier for children of the wealthy at every turn.

Speaker Ryan will try to dismantle the three of most popular parts of the federal government to continue the GOP fixation of shrinking government.

Speaker Ryan accepts millions of dollars from individuals and groups that will profit by turning medicare/medicaid into a voucher scheme and by the privatization of Social Security.  He targets for “reform” include vital government services like the US Postal Service, Social Security Administration, and Medicare/Medicaid all services that benefit ordinary Americans.  The wealthy have no need for a safety net. They want to profit by its demise.

Speaker Ryan will now play the role of con man daily on a national scale. He surely will be selling day for night.  We all must call him out on his continued  hypocrisy before our countries safety net vanishes.  Ryan and his fellow multi millionaire politicians are in politics for the wrong reason. They want to accelerate the wealth of the few at the expense of the many.

 

 

Emily’s List Puts NH Congressman Frank Guinta “On Notice”

Image from Emily's List http://republicansonnotice.tumblr.com/

Image from Emily’s List http://republicansonnotice.tumblr.com/

In addition to being one of the most corrupt members of Congress, Frank Guinta is also one of the worst when it comes to supporting policies that are dangerous to women and families.

Here are six reasons why EMILY’s List is putting Congressman Frank Guinta “On Notice”:

  1. Guinta Supported an Abortion Ban. In May 2015, Guinta voted for a bill that would prohibit abortions in cases where the probable age of the fetus is 20 weeks or later and would impose criminal penalties on doctors who violate the ban. It would provide exceptions for cases in which the woman’s life is in danger as well as for pregnancies that are a result of rape if, as amended, for pregnancies that are a result of rape against an adult woman, the woman received counseling or medical treatment for the rape at least 48 hours prior to the abortion. An exception would be provided for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest against a minor if the rape or incest had been previously reported to law enforcement or another government agency authorized to act on reports of child abuse. [HR 36, Vote #223, 5/13/15;CQ Floor Votes]
  2. Guinta Supported Ban of Abortion with “No Exceptions.” “In response to two questions on abortion, Guinta said he is pro-life, and, were a repeal to Roe v. Wade come up while he was serving in Congress, he would vote for a no-holds barred ban on abortion with ‘no exceptions.’” [Foster’s Daily Democrat, 8/11/10]
  3. Guinta Cosponsored Legislation That Would Allow Employers to Deny Birth Control Coverage. In February 2012, Guinta cosponsored the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, which would “permit a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan or the purchaser or beneficiary.” [HR 1179, 2/08/12]
  4. Guinta Found Guilty of Violating Campaign Finance Laws by the FEC, Fined $15,000. “After five years of denying allegations of wrongdoing related to his 2010 campaign, Guinta was found by the Federal Election Commission to have violated campaign finance laws by accepting $355,000 in illegal contributions from his parents. The two-term congressman, who was defeated in 2012 but narrowly beat Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in 2014, has said the money he used for his first campaign was also his, though disclosure forms suggested he didn’t have the money. Guinta maintained he made a reporting error and did nothing illegal. Now, he must refund the six-figure sum to his parents, and pay a $15,000 fine.” [Roll Call, 5/18/15]
  5. Guinta Voted Multiple Times Against Raising the State Minimum Wage in New Hampshire. During his time in the New Hampshire state House, Guinta voted multiple times against raising the state’s minimum wage. In April 2001, Guinta voted against a bill that would have increased New Hampshire’s minimum wage. The bill increased the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $5.65 as of October 1, 2001. It then increased the wage to $6.15 on October 1, 2002. Guinta’s vote was in favor of a report by the Labor Committee declaring the bill ‘inexpedient to legislate,’ effectively killing the bill. The report killing the bill passed 170-163. A motion was made to again declare the bill ‘inexpedient to legislate,’ effectively killing the wage increase. Guinta voted in favor of the motion to kill the bill, which failed 166-184. Finally, a motion was made to approve the bill. Guinta voted against the bill, which passed 196-153. [HB 469, Vote #92, 4/26/01;HB 469, Vote #117, 5/17/01; HB 469, Vote #118, 5/17/01]
  6. Guinta Named One of CREW’s Most Corrupt Members of Congress in 2010. “Most Corrupt: Representative Frank Guinta. Representative Frank Guinta (R-NH) is a first-term member of Congress, representing New Hampshire’s 1stcongressional district. Rep. Guinta’s ethics issues stem from his failure to accurately disclose assets on his personal financial disclosure forms and possibly accepting improper gifts or loans.” [CREW, 2010]

 

EMILY’s List Puts New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte “On Notice”

Kelly Ayotte

Image from Emily’s List http://republicansonnotice.tumblr.com/

WASHINGTON D.C. – EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, put New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte “On Notice” for 2016. “On Notice” is a list of incumbent Republicans at all levels of government who will be held accountable for their anti-woman, anti-family records in the 2016 elections. 

“Senator Kelly Ayotte has proven time and again that her extreme Republican colleagues can depend on her to help them advance their anti-woman agenda and to stand with them in the way of policies that give working families a fair shot,” said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List. “No matter how much Senator Ayotte tries to whitewash her record, there’s no escaping the fact that she opposes raising the minimum wage, refused to support paid leave for working families, voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act four times, cosponsored and voted for legislation to defund Planned Parenthood, and introduced legislation that would make affordable birth control less accessible even for women with health insurance. Senator Ayotte is a staunch supporter of policies that are downright dangerous for women and families in New Hampshire and across the country, and that’s why EMILY’s List is putting her ‘On Notice.’”

Sen. Ayotte’s Record:

Introduced GAP Act, Which Would Not Strengthen Equal Pay Laws and Weaken Protections for Employees. “And then, just for kitten-heel kicks, she and some of her fellow lady Republicans introduced their own adorable ‘Equal Pay’ bill, which wouldn’t actually strengthen equal pay laws so much as weaken them by creating extra loopholes for employers. It’s like the same thing, only different.” [Wonkette, 10/15/15] 

(1) Voted Against the Paycheck Fairness Act. In June 2012, Ayotte voted against a procedural vote to move forward with S. 3220, Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (also known as the Equal Pay Act), “to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages.” The Paycheck Fairness Act would require a clarification in reasons for differences in wages paid to men and women doing the same work. The motion was rejected 52-47. [S. 3220, Vote #115, 6/05/12] 

(2) Again…Voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. In April 2014, Ayotte voted against a motion to address the Paycheck Fairness Act. According to Congressional Quarterly the vote was a “Motion to invoke cloture (thus limiting debate) on the Reid, D-Nev., motion to proceed to the bill that would require employers to demonstrate that wage gaps between men and women with similar qualifications and in similar jobs have a business justification. It would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information and authorize the Labor secretary to seek additional compensatory or punitive damages in a sex discrimination action. The bill also would require the Labor Department to provide training and collect wage information.” The motion was rejected by a vote of 53-44. [S 2199, Vote #103, 4/09/14]

(3) And again…Voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act. In September 2014, Ayotte voted against a bill to strengthen federal equal pay laws for women. [S. 2199, Vote #262, 9/15/14]                                                       

(4) And again. In March 2015, Ayotte voted against Senator Mikulski’s proposal to “establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to amending the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to allow for punitive damages, limit the any factor ‘other than sex’ exception, and prohibit retaliation against employees who share salary information.” The amendment failed 45-54. [S. Con. Res. 11, Vote #82, 3/24/15] 

Voted for Blunt Amendment, Extreme Legislation Allowing Employers to Deny Health Care Coverage for Moral or Religious Reasons. In March 2012, Ayotte voted against tabling S. Amdt. 1520, also known as the Blunt amendment. The amendment would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to “protect the rights of conscious with regard to requirements for specific items and services.” In other words, employers would be able to deny health care coverage for moral or religious objections. The amendment was attached to S. 1813, MAP-21, a transportation reauthorization bill. The motion passed 51-48. [S. Amdt. 1520 to S. 1813, Vote #24, 3/01/12] 

Cosponsored and Voted for a Bill to Defund Planned Parenthood. In July 2015, Ayotte signed onto a bill to end federal funding to Planned Parenthood. In August 2015, she voted for the defunding measure. The motion to proceed did not pass 53-46. [S. 1881, Vote #262, 8/03/15; Cosponsored 7/29/15] 

Ayotte Argued That Roe v. Wade Should Be Overturned. According to the Nashua Telegraph, “Ayotte said the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion should be overturned, but states should regulate abortion rather than adopt a constitutional change.” [Nashua Telegraph8/20/10] 

Voted for a National Abortion Ban. In September 2015, Ayotte voted for a bill that would prohibit abortions in cases where the probable age of the fetus is 20 weeks or later and would impose criminal penalties on doctors who violate the ban. It would provide exceptions for cases in which the woman’s life is in danger as well as for pregnancies that are a result of rape if, as amended, for pregnancies that are a result of rape against an adult woman, the woman received counseling or medical treatment for the rape at least 48 hours prior to the abortion. An exception would be provided for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest against a minor if the rape or incest had been previously reported to law enforcement or another government agency authorized to act on reports of child abuse. [HR 36, Vote #268, 9/22/15] 

In 2010, Ayotte Opposed Employers Offering Paid Sick Leave to Workers. According to the Nashua Telegraph, “Hodes endorsed raising the minimum wage to include increases in cost-of-living, giving unions the option of organizing by collecting names of supporters rather than through a secret ballot vote and mandating employers offer paid sick leave to their workers. Ayotte opposed all three proposed changes in federal labor laws.” [Nashua Telegraph, 9/23/10]

2014: Ayotte Voted Against Bill to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage To $10.10. [S. 2223, Vote #117, 4/30/14] 

  • Increasing the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Have Meant a Raise for More than 100k Workers in New Hampshire. Increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would mean a raise for 113,000 New Hampshire workers. [Economic Policy Institute12/19/13]

2015: Ayotte Voted Against an Increase in the Minimum Wage. [S.Amdt. 881 to S.Con.Res. 11, Vote #93, 3/26/15] 

The “On Notice” list can be found at http://republicansonnotice.tumblr.com and EMILY’s List will be communicating about those on the list to its network of over three million members nationwide. “On Notice” will continue to be updated throughout the election cycle and will feature incumbents at all levels of government who have exhibited extreme anti-woman and anti-family positions through statements, policy, and voting records. 


EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $400 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making it one of the most successful political organizations ever. We recruit and train candidates, support strong campaigns, research women’s issues, and turn out women voters. We’ve trained over 9,000 women to run and helped elect over 100 women to the House, 19 to the Senate, 11 governors, and over 700 to state and local office. Since its founding in 1985, almost one-third of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color – including every single Latina, African American, and Asian American Democratic congresswoman currently serving.


Suddenly Sen Ayotte Supports Working Pregnant Women But What About All Working Moms?

It is official Governor Maggie Hassan announced she is challenging Senator Kelly Ayotte for her seat in the US Senate. Let the games begin!

Senator Ayotte is coming out swinging with her first online ad entitled “Workplace Fairness,” that focuses on her new legislative proposal, co-sponsored by Senator Shaheen, which would help to end workplace discrimination for pregnant women.

I don’t say this often but I actually agree with Sen. Ayotte that something needs to be done to protect pregnant workers from workplace discrimination and provide pregnant women alternative work during their pregnancy, however I have been pushing for this type of legislation for years now.

Senators Shaheen and Ayotte introduced this legislative in June of this year after the Supreme Court ruled that UPS discriminated against Peggy Young by not offering her light duty work after her doctor instructed her not to lift heavy things due to her pregnancy.

Here is the kicker, this new legislation is actually old legislation submitted in a new legislative term. The bill, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, was actually submitted in September of 2012 and again in May of 2013.

In her new video, Sen Ayotte fails to mention that she refused to support the very same bill not once but twice when it was previously introduced since Ayotte has been in Washington.

Why the change of heart? What is different about this bill now?

It is not so much that the bill has changed it is that Sen. Ayotte is facing a strong progressive candidate in Maggie Hassan.

Suddenly as the campaign ramps up Sen. Ayotte supports the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, but what happens after that expectant mother delivers her baby?

Sen Ayotte has repeatedly said that paid sick leave is “an issue that should be addressed by employers rather than mandated by the government.”

What is the difference between supporting pregnant women in the workplace and supporting parents in the workplace? If you support Pregnancy Fairness why not paid sick leave.

Ayotte did introduce her own paid leave bill with Mitch McConnell earlier this year, but her bill was nothing but an election year stunt that would force workers to choose between overtime pay and leave time.

Let us not forget that Sen. Ayotte has a terrible record supporting women and women’s health.

  • Ayotte opposes the paycheck fairness act
  • Ayotte supports repealing the Affordable Care Act which made it law that new mothers have the right to pump breast milk at work in a safe place, and that employers cannot fire or discriminate against nursing moms.
  • Ayotte supports the misguided Hobby Lobby decision.
  • Ayotte has voted multiple times to allow employers to deny women access to contraception.
  • Ayotte introduced a sham birth control bill that would increase costs for women and is opposed by the American Congress of OB-GYNs.
  • Ayotte has voted repeatedly to defund Planned Parenthood and other family planning centers, which provide critical health services including breast exams.

I don’t have to tell you – but I am going to anyway – Senator Ayotte’s new challenger, Governor Hassan, has been a staunch supporter of working women and women’s health.

Hassan signed into law a Paycheck Fairness bill, expanded Medicaid to give more Granite Staters access to quality healthcare, and in her first term worked to restore the devastating cuts to Planned Parenthood.

Gov. Hassan continues to fight the Republican led Executive Council’s cuts to Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire.

“The council’s vote to defund Planned Parenthood will hurt the health and economic well-being of thousands of Granite Staters. Moving forward, I will continue to fight to ensure that women and families have access to the important health services that are essential to the economic security and vitality of our families,” said Hassan.

Despite what Sen. Ayotte is saying in her poll-tested advertising, she is not the champion for women she claims to be. She is the same old partisan hack who has fueled the continued gridlock in Washington.

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