Dear Mr. President,
My name is Ashley and I am writing to tell you why paid sick leave matters to me. When I started my position at a local non-profit in mid June 2014, I came from a string of jobs without paid sick leave. In college I worked in food and service industries, and often had to sacrifice my wages or my health when considering whether to take a day off due to illness. Sometimes this meant going to school or work sick, when I really should have been home trying to recover.
As a young, working professional, having access to paid sick leave means no longer having to sacrifice my health because I’m worried about paying the bills. It allows me the stability to take time to recuperate from illness rather than letting it develop into something more serious. Having this benefit reduces the stress of worrying about whether time off work due to illness means not being able to pay the mortgage, or losing my job.
When I left my last position, which didn’t offer paid sick leave, knowing every hour I worked at the new position goes towards accruing paid sick leave was a huge part in making the decision for a career move. The knowledge that my organization values and appreciates the hard work I do for them by providing me with paid sick leave has made me a more satisfied employee. It means I can focus on doing my work well and with enthusiasm, because when a day comes that I may need to take a day off for my health, I am assured that I won’t be losing a paycheck over it.
I am proud to live in a city that recently passed a local sick days law. I sincerely hope that we can pass a law like this for everyone in our state this year so that all Oregon workers will have the same basic protection I have.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and for caring about the health and well being of working women and families.