“No mother should have to worry about losing wages after giving birth to her baby or having to take unpaid leave to care for a loved one.”
Dimitajo went through something no mother should have to face — she lost her baby, Domonae, at just under 1 year old.
Domonae was born with Down Syndrome and a heart defect and went through several procedures to repair the defect in order to give her a chance at a healthy life. During those procedures, Dimitajo came face to face with the broken family leave program in this country.
Dimitajo took unpaid leave from her job for several months, which was devastating to her family’s financial security as her husband was out of work due to an injury. During her leave, to help make ends meet, Dimitajo and her husband applied for public assistance and then, once Dimitajo chose to stay with her ill child rather than go back to work, they had to go on Medicaid after the insurance she had through her job was canceled. Dimitajo knows that paid leave would not have saved her daughter’s life, but it would have given her and her family some peace of mind so they could focus on loving and being there for Domonae.
That’s why now, with A Better Balance, Dimitajo is speaking out in support of paid family & medical leave so no mother has to go through what she and her family went through as they struggled to care for their child without the financial security at the moment they needed it most.
Currently, America guarantees up to 3 months of unpaid leave through the Family & Medical Leave Act. While the law was groundbreaking at the time and has helped millions of men and women care for sick loved ones and newborn babies, it’s simply not adequate in a 21st Century economy when women, still the primary caregiver, are increasingly also the primary or sole breadwinner in a family.
As the only high income developed nation in the world not to offer any paid leave, it’s time for the U.S. to pass the FAMILY Act, Senator Gillibrand’s bill to implement a national paid leave insurance program for every worker. This program would be funded by minimal employee and employer contributions of .2% percentage of wages–in other words, for about the cost of a one cup of coffee a week (less than $2/wk for the average worker.)
Will you join Dimitajo and millions of other parents who are fighting for Paid Family & Medical leave? Click below to make your voice heard.