Paid Family Leave could have saved my marriage

Until the end of the legislative session, we will be featuring stories from workers highlighting the need for Paid Family and Medical Leave. If you want to share your story, please go here.

UlishMy name is Ulish Booker and I am a resident of West Haven, I am writing you today in support of SB 221, An Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave. I believe we desperately need Paid Family and Medical Leave. My now ex-wife went through a terrible ordeal that could have gone drastically different if she had paid Leave.
At the time, she worked at Yale Hospital, as a supervisor of environmental services, where she had just six weeks of maternity leave. At around 34 weeks, she had what is called a placental abruption, which is when the placenta detaches from the amniotic sack which the baby is in. The child was born premature and was on a ventilator for several days. He ultimately ended up passing away because he did not get enough oxygen. My wife needed more time to recover physically and emotionally, but because no policy like PFML existed at the time, she was forced to return to work before she could heal.

It was an incredibly difficult time for both of us, and I believe that this probably lead to the problems that eventually lead to our divorce.

As I think about Paid Family and Medical Leave, I am also aware that my father may need care in the future. He has worked as an aviation mechanic at United Technologies for nearly 40 years and in the last couple years, he has had significant life-changing ailments begin to really afflict him. If any of his conditions were to send him to the hospital for long-term care, he simply couldn’t afford to take the time off, it would disrupt the financial stability for the house. If something were to happen to him, we wouldn’t just be worrying about his health, we would also have to worry about paying his bills, and that’s not right.

Everyone needs Paid Family and Medical Leave. My ex-wife needed it. My father needs it. I may need it if anything happens to my family.

I implore you to make the right decision for Connecticut and pass SB 221.