I am a mother, a student, and a worker. I currently do not have access to sick days at my job, and I believe that all workers should have the ability to take time off to care for their family or to recover from illness without a delay in pay (“Bill calling for Maine employers to offer paid sick time draws conflicting testimony,” Feb. 25).
When my kids are sick, I’m faced with the impossible decision to miss work or class to take care of them. Having the option to use a paid sick day would help create the safety net that is truly needed for my family — and for others in similar situations to mine.
I want to make sure that my kids are well enough to succeed in school but I also need to make sure I make enough money so we can pay for rent and other essentials, and to prepare for the future. When I am sick it’s the same dilemma. What should come first — my health, my children’s health or our financial stability?
I recently had to plan a trip to the emergency room around my school, work and family schedules. I ended up in the ER with a urinary tract infection at 11 p.m. I can’t afford to take the time off so I’ve been working through my UTI. I can’t call out because I fear I’ll lose my job or see a significant decline in pay.

Having the ability to take days off from work and keep my financial stability to recover is essential. I also know that I’m a better worker when I’m healthy; I can do more and with better quality.

This is why I hope the Legislature will take action this session and pass a bill ensuring that all workers have access to paid sick days. For my family and families like mine, this is extremely important.


Michele Gonya


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