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Family Medical Paid Leave

Imagine you finally get enough leave at work to take a week. You have been working nearly two years and finally, you managed to save enough leave to take a vacation. You struggle with the idea of taking a vacation, knowing that there isn’t a lot there but decide your worth it.

Now imagine a few weeks after getting back from your vacation that your father has a heart attack and you need a day or two to be there for your family. Again you struggle with taking a day off, knowing that your using every bit of leave you have for this, but you need to be there.

Then a few months later, when you have hardly any leave left your child is diagnosed with cancer. You are the insurance provider and you need to keep your job. Your child cries because she wants you there to care for her through surgery and/or treatments.

This is the scenario I faced back in October 2006 when Baby Girl was diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. I was devastated. I knew my job was protected under the Family Medical Leave Act, but most people do not realize that type of leave is NOT paid. All that leave does is protect your job when you come back.

I was fortunate that co-workers pitched in and donated a week at a time for me to be off. They came together and any leave I needed was covered. I used every hour I had been given. I had to come back to work before Baby Girl was ready for me to go back. I would have faced time off without pay if I had stayed home.

Maybe the circumstance is different. Maybe you want time off to care for your new child, or maybe you want time to care for an elderly parent.

Every day I meet people who face this dilemma. Should they work and leave their loved one to suffer without them, or do they have enough leave saved up, or (and often this happens as well) they just take unpaid leave and get behind in their bills.

That may soon change. Congress has been made aware of this dire issue and will possibly make legislation that forces employers to pay for Family Medical Leave. I feel strongly that this bill NEEDS to be passed!! There are too many families that face this dire consequence.

The companies in America are holding this legislation back. They are against it. We all know the control that companies who have the money have in our congress. DO NOT LET THIS BILL GET REJECTED! Contact your local Congressman and Senator and let them know how strongly you feel about this bill getting passed.

Do it for me.

Do it for my daughter.

If not for us, DO IT FOR YOURSELVES. You never know if you may need it in the future.

Could you leave your daughter home when she looks like this?

I had no choice.

Lets change that for the next parent who has to face this.

3 Responses

  1. You raise an important point here Tina. There should be leave for just such impossible family medical emergencies and recovery times.

    In the UK people generally have paid leave for a set amount of time for themselves – although sometimes that is woefully limited. If I am off sick in my current job I only get 4 days per annum paid. I don’t know how I would cope financially if my cancer came back. In previous jobs I had up to six months paid leave available if necessary and then a further six months at half pay. That was working for a big corporate company – and I did hold a senior position. Now I work for a small company and I guess they can’t afford to be more generous.

    Compasionate leave (for relatives etc) here in the UK is allowed (with limits) but whether or not it is paid is at the discretion of the employer. You’ve guessed it – not many pay!

    Benefits can be claimed but they’re not easy to obtain and not enough to survive on.

    You did the right thing to be around for Ambriel – she needed you and you were there for her. She’ll never forget that – and neither will you. That’s what being a mom is about. And you are an excellent mom (amongst other things!)

  2. Thankyou:)

    your welcome

  3. Hi Tall T,

    May God give you and daughter a lot of strength. Yesterday only I got to know that one of my friends has been detected cancer in her ovary but since it has been detected at the first stage, doctors say that it will be cured after a surgery. But I am really praying for her and I promise you that your daughter will always be in my prayers. God Bless! I will try to create as much awareness regarding cancer. I have recently started blogging so, still getting accustomed to the technology. With your permission ,I would like to add you in my blog roll and if there is anything else that you want me o put on my blog, I’d be more than happy to do that.

    Nice to meet ya Scratchbags, I would be honored to have you on my blogroll. I pray your friend will find healing and beat this thing.

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