Our Stories


VictoriaVictoria was sick four times in the first month of 2010, but could not afford to call in sick to her office administration job in Seattle. But Victoria’s not the only one – she tells of a coworker who went to work sick for two weeks straight because he also couldn’t afford to take any unpaid sick time away from work. “He got all of us sick,” she said flatly

Due to cutbacks, Victoria currently works part-time for 20 hours per week. But she works everyday – so her schedule isn’t flexible. And as a temporary worker, she says the recession has had an impact on her ability to get time off to care for herself and her family. “You are so afraid to stay home because if you lose a job, there are no jobs out there.”

Ideally, Victoria would like a full-time, decent paying job so she and her fiancée can provide for their daughter. “I want to be able to buy my own diapers and get gas to take my daughter to do things.”

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FrankFrank, a single father to a 9-year-old son, never had to think about work benefits such as paid sick days when he was married.  But now now that he has sole custody of his son, his perspective has changed.  “I never thought about paid sick days because I was married and my wife was always there to take care of our son. It was never an issue.”

Currently a part-time building maintenance employee, Frank was let go from his warehouse job after 4 years because he prioritized his son’s health needs over his job. And despite extensive work experience, Frank has had difficulty finding full-time employment that offers a livable wage, with the benefits and flexibility he needs to raise his son. “Without paid sick days, if you are not there, you won’t get paid. But I’d rather be with my son when he is sick.”

Click here to share your story about why paid sick days are important to you.


Amber, a 22 year old mother with a 3 year old son, has struggled to find a full-time job that pays decent wages and allows her the flexibility to care for her son when he gets sick. “When my son was sick, I had to call in sick because he couldn’t go to daycare.  I had to take 2 days off and I regretted it because I have bills to pay and now I am behind.”

Amber’s current job as a kitchen staffer does not offer benefits such as paid vacation or sick days. “I have gone in to work sick, sneezing and coughing because I can’t afford it.” She also reports that many of her co-workers show up to work sick as well. “We are minimum-wage workers who can’t afford to miss work.”

Click here to share your story about why paid sick days are important to you.