My dad has been sick since October. My sister and I kept urging him to go to the doctor, but he didn’t want to miss work and pay a lot of doctor’s bills. It finally got so bad that we took him to the emergency room.
He needs surgery, but he would need to be off work for 6 weeks to recover, and doesn’t have that much sick leave and vacation saved up. He’s worried about how he’ll pay his bills and the extra medical costs, and he’s afraid if he misses too much work, he’ll lose his job.
It would be so much better if he could just take the time off to have the 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.
My uncles work in California where they have disability and family leave insurance. When my grandmother was passing away, they were able to go and be with her for a few weeks without stressing about how they would pay their bills, because they had that insurance program. We need family and medical leave insurance here in Washington.
Editor’s note: We want to hear from you! If you have a story about how you have been affected by a lack of paid sick time or family leave, please contact Gabriela@eoionline.org. Your stories can help legislators understand the importance of paid sick days and family leave.