With his campaign still far behind that of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is advocating for a new outlook on “family values,” including paid vacation time for workers.
The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate is known for his economically liberal views on education and health care, stating that both should be completely free of charge, but this is his first time commenting on family issues and values.
The senator, a self-described socialist, introduced legislation on the Senate floor on June 11 that would make businesses that employ 15 people or more to offer two weeks of paid vacation time to workers who have been employed by the company for at least one year, CNN Money reported.
“This is already done in almost every major country on earth," Sanders said. "What family values are about is that at least for two weeks a year, people can come together under a relaxed environment and enjoy the family. That is a family value that I want to see happen in this country."
In addition, Sanders is co-sponsoring legislation that would provide paid sick days to most American employees.
“I do not know about you, but I am not crazy about the idea of somebody who is sick coming to work and preparing the food that I eat in a restaurant,” Sanders quipped.
Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have not supported measures like these in the past and there is no indication that Sanders’ new efforts will become law.
Before revealing his legislation, Sanders criticized Republicans for not focusing more on what they claim as “family values.”
He spoke about the needs of spending time with newborn babies and relaxation time with family in contrast to “the family values my Republican colleagues talk about, which for them means women don’t have a right to control her own body, or that gay people should not have the right to get married, or that women should not have access to contraception.”
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