Most people say all they want for Christmas is peace, joy, happiness, and their health. Sadly, for many in today’s world this is simply impossible. Sickness holds no discrimination, has no boundaries and does not take time off, or wait until after the holidays. You hope for peace, but peace is having peace of mind, with basic protections like paid family and medical leave. Happiness is being able to sit by the fireplace to enjoy the chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and not because your heat and electricity has been turned off due to nonpayment. Joy is having paid time off from work and job protection in order to recover and heal. Health is not making yourself sicker due to severe stress over how you’re going to making ends meet while taking unpaid leave. A holly jolly Christmas is having jobs that provide paid family and medical leave insurance for all families.
Unpaid time off is the difference between paying the heat bill and keeping the lights on the Christmas tree turned on for families who must miss some work in order to heal and recover from serious illness. Having basic rights, like the right to care for yourself or a seriously sick family member and not lose your job or your paycheck is fundamental to what family really means. My wish for the holidays is to be able to care for myself and my family without having to risk my health, paycheck, or my job.