Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a 2020 Democratic contender, reportedly had a paid family leave policy that “required” employees to remain with the office “three times as many weeks as they had been gone.” According to The New York Times, the policy—which was described as “unusual”—also stipulated that those who left anyway would have to pay back the money they had earned in the weeks they were on paid leave. After the Times asked Klobuchar’s office about the policy, a spokesperson said revisions to the written policy would be made. “We offer 12 weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave for our staff and have one of the strongest paid leave policies in the Senate,” spokeswoman Elana Ross said. “We’ve never made staff pay back any of their leave and will be changing that language in the handbook.”
The Times report also echoed stories from HuffPost and BuzzFeed News, outlining cases of Klobuchar’s harsh treatment to her staff. Among the anecdotes, she reportedly told one staffer that she would trade three of them for a “bottle of water” and ate a salad with a comb when a staffer failed to bring her a fork. She then reportedly ordered an aide to clean the fork after she was done.