Klobuchar’s treatment of her staff shouldn’t be out of bounds. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images In a crowded field of would-be Democratic presidents, Amy Klobuchar stands out for all the wrong reasons. The Minnesota senator hadn’t even launched her campaign before years-old rumors of her abusive behavior to staff gained shape and form in an initial…


Klobuchar’s treatment of her staff shouldn’t be out of bounds. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In a crowded field of would-be Democratic presidents, Amy Klobuchar stands out for all the wrong reasons. The Minnesota senator hadn’t even launched her campaign before years-old rumors of her abusive behavior to staff gained shape and form in an initial HuffPost report. Klobuchar wrote “tardy slips” and left them on the desks of late-arriving aides, former staffers said. Others claimed she repeatedly demeaned their work as “the worst” she’d ever seen. From there, the accusations escalated: Klobuchar also threw a binder at a staffer and berated staff until they cried. On Friday, the New YorkTimesreported that Klobuchar and some top-ranking aides spoke to departing staffers’ would-be employers “to register her displeasure” with them. And, of course, there is the comb incident: Klobuchar, once offered a salad but no fork, ate the meal with a comb — and then made a staffer clean it.

Klobuchar’s alleged behavior has reportedly deterred qualified candidates from joining her presidential campaign. But since outlets first began fleshing out rumors of the senator’s workplace tyranny, some commentators have argued either that the story is overblown, or that Klobuchar is being held to higher standards because of her gender. At Vox, Laura McGann argued that while the senator is guilty of some “bad-boss behavior,” sexism may taint complaints about her behavior. “Assertiveness, decisiveness and command of others are all considered positive qualities,” McGann wrote. “These fit the role men are expected to play in the same patriarchal system that punishes women for stepping out of their expected role.” In a piece published before Comb-gate entered our deranged national consciousness, Jennifer Palmieri wrote that while she didn’t endorse the senator’s behavior, she doubted that “a male candidate with similar staff complaints would have seen them become the lead narrative of his presidential announcement.”

meat processing plants and mines, and weakening injury reporting requirements for employers. Child labor protections aren’t even safe from the Trump administration: The Department of Labor is trying to roll back rules that require adult supervision for teenage nursing-home employees who are operating heavy lifts. Trump’s daughter Ivanka, meanwhile, is touting paid family leave, but the only major Republican effort to get a family-leave bill through Congress would have allowed parents to withdraw their Social Security benefits early to offset the costs of their leave. Employers, in other words, would have no obligation to offer their workers paid leave. fire workers without warning. And while the Supreme Court’sJanusv.AFSCMEruling did block public-sector unions from collecting dues from every worker in a bargaining unit, union membership has remained relatively steady in the ruling’s wake; workers weren’t waiting, breathlessly, to flee their unions without dues as a cattle prod to keep them in line. Teachers, meanwhile, continue to stage successful walkouts against charter schools and for higher wages and increased staffing in schools. Rising health-care costs and relatively stagnant wages can be crushing burdens for workers, but through organizing, they’ve created small pockets of relief — breathable air inside an avalanche. Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us.

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For U.S. Workers, Klobuchar’s Alleged Staff Abuse Matters

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