1. New York State Equal Pay Compliance Act (“NYSEPC” Act)
All New York entities that employ more than twenty (20) individuals will be subject to a yearly audit. The New York Equal Pay Act, passed in August of 2019, was a huge step towards gender equality. My plan will expand on this bill and ensure that entities throughout New York are compliant with the act. New York State will issue an Equal Pay Compliance Certificate to each entity verifying that it is paying all employees on an equal scale. Should an entity fail to comply with equal pay laws further expanded upon by NYSEPC, (guaranteeing all employees are paid equally regardless of gender identity or expression), they will be fined a predetermined amount, weekly, until the issue is rectified. This step is necessary to enforce closure of the pay gap. Besides creating a proactive regulation by the state, this program will give women an extra venue in which to report discrimination and receive prompt investigation without fear of retribution or unlawful termination.
2. Provision of Tampons and Menstrual Pads at SUNY Facilities
All SUNY and CUNY facilities will maintain tampons and menstrual pads in all female and gender-neutral bathrooms at no cost to students or faculty. SUNY will ensure both products remain stocked and available, safeguarding that women do not fall victim to the potentially fatal Toxic Shock Syndrome (“TSS”) because they can change tampons or menstrual pads on a regular enough basis to prevent the buildup of bacteria. This program will especially benefit students who cannot afford to purchase these products on a regular and routine basis.
3. TSS Education
TSS is a dangerous and potentially deadly condition that primarily affects women -- but can affect men, children, and postmenapausal women -- when there is a complication in the body as a result of a bacterial infection. It is crucial to everyone’s health that the dangers of TSS are known by the public. All tampon manufacturers in New York will be required to print a TSS warning, in large, obviously placed letters, on the exterior of tampon packaging for sale.
4. Improvement in Public Education Curriculum
Health Curriculum - New York State will revisit health curriculums in public schools. Schools will increase focus on women’s reproductive issues to promote understanding and awareness in both female students (relating to their bodies, health, and reproductive rights), as well as the general student population.
General Curriculum - This improved education level will extend to the general curriculum, (e.g., the Sciences, Social Studies, Math, Foreign Languages, Art, Music, etc.), where schools will increase focus on female contributions to society, as well as work to dismiss myths that promote misogyny and gender stereotypes.
5. Protect Women’s Reproductive Health
It’s critical that we continue to strive to protect women’s reproductive health. We will ensure Planned Parenthood is fully funded. Besides protecting a woman's right to choose, full funding will provide access to quality healthcare for women. We will also ensure medicine relating to abortion is and remains available over the counter, as the science proves it is safe.
6. Increase Statewide Resources to Protect Victims of Domestic Violence
Under my direction, New York will partner with existing organizations to build upon resources for victims of domestic violence. This includes expansion of programs to create opportunities for women and men to leave abusive household situations when tied down by financial obligations. New York will also run educational campaigns across the state to promote a simple message to abused women and men across the state: “It’s not your fault.”
7. Paid Family Leave
In 2021*, paid family leave will increase to 12 weeks. To divert the high cost of child care, and to allow for significant bonding, I propose 24 weeks of paid family leave. Should each parent take this time concurrently, the pair will have a half-year to take care of a newborn. Should the parents take these 24 weeks in succession, the child would have nearly a year of parental care. This increase would also benefit adoptive families, allowing the family more time to introduce a new child into the household. * https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov
8. Sexual Harassment Protection
NYS will expand resources for confidential hotlines that protect and advise victims of sexual harassment and assault. The state will work to train more counselors, creating a readily available resource for victims. Hotline workers can connect victims with counselors, emergency services, and other resources they might need. This readily available and publically known hotline will help to provide both women and men with a safe place to turn, and will double as a statewide domestic violence hotline.