Fall River, MA
Last summer, my husband Jorge was in a car crash that left him unable to work. It wasn’t his fault, and we assumed his medical bills and time off from work would be covered by the other driver’s insurance. We quickly learned, however, that our entire family would suffer as he recovered because Massachusetts does not have paid family and medical leave.
Jorge went from having a good job as a drug rehab supervisor to unemployed. His federal Family Medical Leave ran out. His employer let him go after the maximum federally mandated 12 weeks to recover, even though the car crash was not his fault. It was a struggle to support our family on one income, and I could not afford to take unpaid time off to drive him to his many medical appointments.
No one should be in this situation yet most working people, particularly low-income and single-parent households, face financial hardship if they have to leave the job that puts food on the table to care for a family member they love. No hard working people in our community should be forced to choose between working at the job they need and caring for the family they love.