Groton Mom Testifies Before U.S. Senate Subcommittee About Need for Paid Sick Days
November 10, 2009
Desiree Rosado, a mother of three living in Groton, Connecticut, today shared with U.S. Senators the difficulty she and her husband face if they have to miss work and a paycheck whenever they or their children are sick. Rosado was testifying before the Subcommittee on Children and Families of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.
“We are trying to pay down debts and make our family financially stable, but it’s a hard road,” Rosado told the Subcommittee in her testimony. “And it’s made it a lot harder because whenever we get sick or our children get sick, we have to decide whether to stay home without pay, or to disregard doctor’s orders and risk getting sicker and infecting other by going to work or school.”
The Rosados are among 57 million working people across the United States who do not have paid sick leave and are forced to go without pay if they or any of their children are sick. Desiree works for the Groton Public School System in special education as a one-on-one assistant and her husband is a security guard supervisor at the Groton Naval Submarine base.
This fall, all three Rosado children came down with the flu, and had to stay home to recover and to prevent the illness from spreading to their schoolmates and teachers. Desiree Rosado had to miss two weeks of work – and forgo two weeks of pay – to care for her children.
“When I don’t get paid, it wreaks havoc on our family budget,” said Rosado. “My husband handles the finances and is able to juggle things around so we can make ends meet, but sometimes we have to borrow from the rent money we’ve put aside. We hate to do that, but sometimes we have no choice.”
Rosado was testifying in support of the Healthy Families Act, which would guarantee workers up to seven paid sick days a year to recover from their own illness or care for a sick family member.
Rosado is a member of MomsRising, an online and on-the-ground grassroots organization for moms (and anyone who has a mom) that supports family-friendly policies, including paid sick days.