Family Leave Stories

Testimony supporting Paid Family and Medical Leave:

  • Christina: “When Calvin was born, [my fiancé] Tyler was my rock and my sunshine. But he had to go back to work after one week, because we couldn’t afford to go without his paycheck. Paid family leave would have changed everything for us.”
  • Di: “What if I always had paid sick leave or we had paid family leave? I could have spent more time at home with my son.”
  • Evelin: “It would be so much better if [my dad] could just take the time off to have surgery, without having to worry about how he will pay his bills. We wouldn’t have to keep taking him to the doctor, and he’d be back to full strength at work.”
  • Heidi: “I took three weeks off after Cesarean surgery when I gave birth to my son. Would I have liked more time to recover? Yes. Did I need more time with my newborn son who was suffering from jaundice and who was born a month early? Yes. That wasn’t an option.”
  • Jessica: “I have had two children now with no paid maternity leave. Each birth was a cesarean birth and over half of my leave was spent recuperating from major abdominal surgery. I am now back to work for the second week after the birth of my daughter.”
  • Magda: “If there were more financial resources and relief for parents to take paid leave after a child is born, then they could free themselves of the stress and anxiety about losing income and instead focus on what’s important: their newborns.”
  • Marilyn: “It should never be a matter of luck whether a parent can afford to spend the first precious weeks and months of life with their newborn child.”
  • Patrick: “Caitlin and I prioritized education, worked hard, bought a house, and got married. I’ve been so fortunate, and done everything “right”, and even I won’t get much time with my baby and caring for my wife if she has a rough delivery.”
  • Selena: Despite planning ahead, when Selena’s son Connor was born six weeks early and faced serious medical conditions, Selena was forced to choose between staying with him in the hospital and returning to work to make ends meet. Selena describes the time as “by far, the most difficult time of my life.”
  • Sharon: When Sharon used her accrued sick time to care for her dying father, she became the target of many warnings and penalties at work. Her total offense? 10 sick days over a 16-month period.
  • Terri: When her cancer diagnosis came, she had family support, a financial cushion, and the legal protection of the FMLA. But none of that proved quite enough to last through two years of treatment and three surgeries.

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