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More FMLA Stories

Vicki Pletka
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

My partner has been using FMLA for two years now. I gave birth to our daughter almost 2 yrs ago. At 26 weeks gestation we were told our baby wasn’t going to live due to neurological issues. She was born missing a part of her brain, with fluid around it, and with one side of her brain much smaller than the other. Without FMLA protecting my wife’s job, she wouldn’t have been able to help care for our daughter and I when we needed her the most. Our daughter has many issues, which my partner and I face head on everyday. Thanks to FMLA, we are able to do that just like the heterosexual couples we know with special needs children. Since this state already doesn’t allow my partner to legally adopt our daughter even though we used a sperm donor, she wouldn’t even be protected under FMLA as her parent. As of now she is allowed it to care for me during hospital stays etc… but if it is removed, she will not be able to be there for our daughter and I when we need her. I find this to be completely discriminating and unjust. We did file as domestic partners in January 2010. There should be no reason whatsoever that any LGBT family be denied the rights to be with our loved ones when they are sick and need to be cared for and be allowed to take the same amount of time any heterosexual family is. We will gladly speak out against this in anyway we can. Our daughter is now 23 months old and has multiple health issues. We will fight anyone for my partners right to NOT have to choose between being there for our daughter or losing her job.

Englewood, Colorado

“I’m a 100% disabled husband that needs critical care periodically and sometimes things don’t go right and I need to get to the emergency room or the hospital. My wife works for an insurance carrier, and even though she has FMLA when she needs it, it still does not allow her to take off without prior notice to handle these situations. Not only do I think that’s bad for mothers, single mothers, and for people like me and whatnot, but I think it’s just wrong. There should be something in place for that. Employers should be more than willing to give those kinds of benefits. If not just giving out the benefits, then we need a law that says so.”

Del Norte, Colorado

“My husband is a disabled veteran and I work a job for supplemental income and we need that supplemental income to keep ourselves afloat and pay our mortgage and if I can’t take time off to help him get the surgery he needs that’s coming up soon… If I take time off I don’t get paid. And then I get behind on my mortgage and my bills. It’s just a snowball thing. Please do remember those that are caring for veterans, there are a lot of us out there, and a lot of them have things a lot worse than I do for sure.”

Golden, Colorado

“I lost my father after a 2 month serious terminal illness in which I was his sole caregiver. I lost my job because I ran out of FMLA and I had no income.”