Every day until the end of the legislative session, we will be featuring a story from a worker highlighting the need for Paid Family and Medical Leave. If you want to share your story, please go here.
Not that long ago I was employed by Dunkin Donuts. While I was working at Dunkin Donuts, my mom became very sick and I had to take some time off of work to take care of her. My mom means everything to me. She has always been there for me. I wouldn’t know what I would do if I lost her.
When my mother was feeling better from her illness, I returned to work. But when I arrived at work and tried to clock in for my shift, my supervisor told me that I was no longer employed at the store. I was very upset and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t have my job back. I was already behind on bills and had no extra money to fall back on. I needed my job and I did everything within my power to get it back. I called the district manager and pleaded with him to please allow me to return to work. Eventually, they did allow me to return, but they changed the hours I was working drastically. It got to the point where it just was not worth it to keep working at that store anymore.
Creating a paid family leave system will have an enormous impact on many families in Connecticut. If this system had existed when my mom fell ill, I would have been able to take the necessary time off from work without being worried about all the unpaid bills that were piling up. It also would have meant that once my mother got better, I would have been able to go back to work and would have been protected from getting fired because of the choice I had to make to take care of her.
Paid Family and Medical Leave is very important because everyone gets sick and we should not have to be punished for that simple fact of life.