Recently, I was diagnosed with cancer and required chemotherapy treatment and radiation treatment. Due to the lack of any affordable paid medical leave coverage for my business, I was required to work between surgeries, during chemotherapy (until I was ordered into isolation), and throughout all of my radiation treatments. The lack of paid medical leave intensified the challenges I faced dealing with my serious health condition and the horrible side-effects of chemotherapy. I would have recuperated much sooner and suffered less had I been able to take even some time off, on a periodic or intermittent basis, to address the effects of my treatment. However, I am self-employed and there was no option for me but to work through my treatment.
My income has suffered greatly and I’m still playing catch-up. I believe Massachusetts needs to lead on this issue! The provisions of the paid family and medical leave bill that allow self-employed individuals to participate in the state sponsored paid family and medical leave program are critical for individuals like me who need income replacement while dealing with unexpected, serious health conditions.