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Supporting working families

As a Congresswoman and a mom, I am committed to enacting policies that support workers and families and strengthen our economy – for everyone.

Paid Family Leave and Sick Days: In today’s workplace, taking time off work to bond with a new baby or to care for a sick loved one is a luxury few can afford. We are the only industrialized nation that does not require some level of paid family leave, which means far too many parents and caregivers are put in the impossible situation of having to choose between their need to earn a paycheck and a new baby or sick family member. I am a proud supporter of legislation to provide 12 weeks of paid leave for workers to care for a newborn or adopted child or a sick family member, and seven job-protected paid sick or safe days. Millions of workers accessed paid leave protections for the first time in our nation’s history during the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still far too many workers who were excluded and all workers need access to these protections every year.

Affordable child care: In Oregon, the cost of child care is the fourth highest in the country for an infant and fifth highest for children under the age of four. We have more children in need of care than slots available, driving the prices even higher. The coronavirus pandemic has further exacerbated this ongoing crisis, with frontline workers needing child care and providers struggling to stay afloat while providing safe care. I am fighting for robust federal funding for parents, providers, and our child care educators. This is a good investment that will give Oregonians and Americans the opportunity to create a better life for their children.

Retirement security: For decades, workers achieved retirement security through a combination of employer provided pensions, personal savings, and Social Security. Today, however, significantly fewer employers provide retirement plans to their workers. In fact, there are more than 68 million people in our workforce whose employers do not offer any type of retirement savings plan. Social Security is an essential tool that helps retirees make ends meet, but it is not intended to be the sole form of income in retirement. We need new ways to provide workers with retirement security. I also introduced legislation to make it easier for people to access savings accounts from past jobs, so that they can retrieve the money they earned.

Equal pay for equal work: Women make up more than half of the workforce in the U.S., but too often they still earn less than their male colleagues doing the same job. This is an affront to all hard-working American women - and it needs to end. It's time for a stronger Equal Pay law that holds employers accountable for systematically paying female employees, especially women of color, less than men for the same work. I led the Paycheck Fairness Act through the committee process to close the gender wage gap, and I’m glad the legislation passed the House. Women deserve equal pay for equal work!

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Meet Suzanne

Suzanne knows what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet. She worked her way through community college, university, and law school. She started her career at Legal Aid and worked as a consumer rights attorney. Throughout her career she’s been a leading advocate for public education, protecting the environment, and civil rights. She’s fighting for a better future for all Oregonians.

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