The New York state government has fined Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign $1,500 for not having workers’ compensation coverage for a month last year.
A spokeswoman for the New York state Workers’ Compensation Board, Melissa Stewart, said Friday that Ocasio-Cortez’s Democratic campaign lacked coverage from March 31 to April 30.
She says the fine, first reported by the New York Daily News, has been paid.
The coverage is ‘vital to ensuring workers are protected for on-the-job injuries,’ Stewart added.
The 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez made bettering the lives of working people and the poor in her Queens-Bronx district a key component of her successful campaign to upset longtime incumbent Joseph Crowley in the 2018 Democratic primary.
A message the Associated Press left with her Washington office wasn’t returned on Friday.
Workers’ compensation is a government-administered disability compensation program that pays workers, or their dependents, when they suffer injuries at work or contract work-related diseases.
Every U.S. state has had a program since at least 1948.
The concept dates back millenniato the Sumerian empire, in present-day Iraq. According to University of North Carolina orthopedist Gregory Guyton, a 2050 B.C. law provided specific guidelines for how much to compensate workers who lost body parts on the job.
Ancient Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Chinese all had similar systems. The laws provided sets of compensation schedules, with precise payments for the loss of particular body parts.
‘Under ancient Arab law, loss of a joint of the thumb was worth one-half the value of a finger,’ Guyton wrote in 1999. ‘The loss of a penis was compensated by the amount of length lost, and the value an ear was based on its surface area.’
A Democratic campaign veteran told the Daily News that the fine is ‘not a great look’ for Ocasio-Cortez. ‘This is basic stuff, especially if you hold yourself out to be the champion of workers.’
Republicans in Albany piled on.
‘Hypocrisy at its finest,’ state GOP spokeswoman Jessica Proud said.
‘The so-called champion of workers, when given her own responsibility, is not following the law. It’s unbelievable.’
Ocasio-Cortez is a political neophyte who considers herself a democratic socialist.
Fresh from her swearing-in, she proposed to raise the top marginal income tax rate to 70 per cent.
The current top rate is 37 per cent. That applies to an earner’s income after the first $600,000. Ocasio-Cortez’s plan would start applying the 70 per cent rate after the first $10 million.
Similarly, Ocasio-Cortez is pushing for a ‘Medicare for All’ medical insurance overhaul in the U.S., an ambitious plan that would put much of the industry in the hands of government.
Vocal critics of the approach say it’s an expensive clone of socialized medicine systems found in Canada, Scandinavia and elsewhere.