I am writing in response to Peter Gore’s Aug. 5 Maine Voices column, “Paid sick time rejected by Maine legislators for very good reasons.”

I work as a waitress/bartender. I’m a single mom. If my daughter gets sick, I still have to pay for day care but if I’m unable to go to work, I don’t get the money to pay for it.

It’s a huge hit. I’m going to lose that money for my grocery, insurance or some other important bill. Day care is the first bill that’s going to get paid because I need to go to work.

I lose out if I don’t get paid, but at least I won’t lose my job. There are definitely places where if you don’t make it in, they say don’t come back.

If my daughter is sick, I’m going to stay home with her. She wants her mom. She’s my responsibility — I want to be the one who makes her feel better. If anyone else gets her illness, it should be me.

They say we should have a backup plan for the flu. But everybody I know works. It’s hard in our industry — it’s not like you have a set schedule. I’m lucky that I do, but it includes both nights and days.

The place where I now work values your hard work and your personality and your ability to get customers to come back. But other places don’t care if you get sick or if you lose your job.

Someone should say they can’t do that anymore. That is why I testified in support of L.D. 1665 alongside many other workers, health experts and advocates.

Paid sick days should be a basic worker right, and I will be asking candidates in my district where they stand on this policy.


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