May 10, 2019

AOC introduces new, "unusual" parental leave for her staff

Every new parent who works for Rep. Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is allotted 3 months of paid parental leave, according to a new policy she implemented on Friday.

Details: "Paid parental leave applies to ALL new parents, period. Moms, dads, parents; biological or adopted," Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a lengthy tweet on Friday. "If you've got a new child, you get 12 weeks to spend adjusting your family to this huge transition." She further emphasized the intrinsic equality intended in her new policy, writing: "Equal pay at work is about SO much more than the salary you offer. If you give dads less paid parental leave than moms, you're contributing to the pay gap."

The backdrop: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) presently demands that public agencies provide employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave, however each individual member of congress can decide how much paid time-off they will offer.

  • This isn't the first progressive policy Ocascio-Cortez has put into action for her staff. She pledged that her staffers would earn a "living wage," with no one making less than $52,000 annual salary. The freshmen representative also pays her interns $15 per hour and provides benefits, per USA Today.

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Trump administration asks Congress for $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus

President Trump with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the White House in September. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Details: The request for a lump sum account for the Department of Health and Human Services includes $1.25 billion in new funds to fight COVID-19 and $535 would come from untouched funds for the Ebola virus.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic, claiming that needs across affected countries are too varied and the classification would increase fear, per a briefing Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

The global scramble to contain the coronavirus

Taking precaution, in the Philippines. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

The coronavirus is spreading quickly in cities nowhere near Wuhan, China, and the window to prevent a global pandemic is narrowing.

Zoom in: Here's a look at what comes with a coronavirus outbreak in communities outside China that have been hardest hit so far.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - World