Work Life Balance

Finally, Someones Attempts To Make Presidential Candidates Discuss Family Sick Leave

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family sick leaveWhen I was pregnant, I worked for a small hair salon.. My boss did not offer me any paid time off whatsoever. After giving birth to my daughter, I returned to work three weeks later, because I couldn’t afford any more time without a paycheck. Since then, my situation has improved, but there are still plenty of people in that position, where one sickness can cost them their job or send them into serious financial difficulty. And yet, family sick leave has been completely absent from the Presidential debate, which is supposedly focused on helping middle class families. Jessica Smith would like to change that.

Jessica Smith is a student at the University of Denver. When she was three years old, she suffered a stroke. Her mother was an hourly employee without much in the way of available vacation time or financial savings. While Jessica’s mother was coping with the extreme stress of caring for her daughter in the hospital, she was also struggling with the possibility of losing her job for taking time off. She was worried about the financial costs of taking unpaid time off. She was dealing with a host of issues that a working mother shouldn’t be consumed with while dealing with an extremely sick child.

Hearing that story and realizing what her mother went through has made Jessica Smith passionate about family sick leave and paid time off. That’s why she’s launched a Change.org petition to get Jim Lehrer to ask President Obama and Mitt Romney about the issue during their upcoming debate. See while this issue is huge for working families, it’s practically nonexistent in national politics at the moment.

Smith explains why this issue is so important brilliantly in her petition,

“Presidential candidates can’t talk about strengthening our economy without talking about putting into place these policies that working families need to keep their jobs and pay the bills.”

These campaigns have given a lot of lip service to strengthening the middle class and helping the American worker. Well here’s an actual issue that could show whether or not they’re all talk. We’ve heard plenty about the importance of the women’s vote. Well how many mothers do you know that are concerned about paying the bills and taking care of their families? I can count quite a few.

Thank you to Jessica Smith for bringing up a specific issue that might show just how committed to families President Obama and Governor Romney really are. I just hope that this important issue will make into the debate. I hope the candidates will honest and straight-forward in their answers, so that America’s families can decide just who has their interests at heart. This is one petition that I had no problem signing my name to. Now it’s up to Mr. Lehrer and the Presidential candidates to address this very serious issue.

(Photo: Lisa S./Shutterstock)