Support Paid Family and Medical Leave

Support Paid Family and Medical Leave

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When Terri's cancer diagnosis came, she had family support, a financial cushion, and the legal protection of the FMLA. But none of that proved quite enough to last through two years of treatment and three surgeries. Despite her years of hard work, one bout of seriously bad luck has left Terri worried about her family’s future.


In 2013, Terri learned she had cancer in both breasts. A month later, she had a lumpectomy and eventually a double mastectomy. In total, Terri has needed to take three separate medical leaves from work to deal with her cancer.


Disability insurance ...

When Terri's cancer diagnosis came, she had family support, a financial cushion, and the legal protection of the FMLA. But none of that proved quite enough to last through two years of treatment and three surgeries. Despite her years of hard work, one bout of seriously bad luck has left Terri worried about her family’s future.


In 2013, Terri learned she had cancer in both breasts. A month later, she had a lumpectomy and eventually a double mastectomy. In total, Terri has needed to take three separate medical leaves from work to deal with her cancer.


Disability insurance did not fully cover her wages—and it left her particularly short when she had to go back for a second surgery. Coordinating all the paperwork with her medical team, HR department, and the separate disability plan provider also proved complicated. It never seemed like they were on her side.


“It was such a hassle that I didn’t need. I kept getting certified letters from the HR department saying they had not received the doctor’s letters… I’m the face of their company; I don’t call in sick unless I have a legitimate reason. I should be rewarded for being a decent employee.”


To add more stress, her health insurance did not fully cover medical expenses and bills began to pile up. With limited options, Terri decided to tap into her 401K. Despite spending most of her retirement savings, she still has unpaid medical bills that keep her and her family underwater. 


If Washington had paid family and medical leave, Terri would have had stable income throughout her cancer treatments – without nearly exhausting her retirement account. Her husband could have taken leave to help care for her. She would have had less stress, meaning faster healing, better morale when she returned to work, and less strain on her family. It's time to bring paid family and medical leave to Washington workers.

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Ask Your Lawmakers to Support a Strong Paid Family and Medical Leave Bill

Tell your lawmakers why it's important that they support paid family and medical leave in the Special Session. Be sure to personalize your email to explain why you care, whether it's because you are affiliated with a nonprofit organization, or because you have personal experience taking extended leave to care for your family or health. 

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