The proposed paid family and medical leave (“PFML”) legislation would create a more worker-friendly and attractive business environment in the state of Connecticut. I have heard it stated multiple times that Connecticut is losing businesses and young workers, who are attracted to larger urban areas like Boston or New York City. As a young person, I can state for a fact that if Connecticut were to implement a system of PFML for all employees, the state would be considerably more attractive to me as a location to permanently settle down.

In 2014, my mother was hospitalized for a couple of weeks with Sepsis. Thankfully, she recovered, but there were points throughout the ordeal where the doctors were unsure if she would survive. During this difficult time, those in my immediate family naturally spent as much time at the hospital with my mother as possible. This situation, though scary for my family, is not a unique one; serious illnesses and medical emergencies can affect anyone at any time.

Paid family and medical leave affords one the opportunity to take the time off to be there for a family member when a medical situation arises; with PFML, this can be done without the fear of losing one’s employment or losing one’s much-needed income. In addition, PFML provides the ability to take time off and still receive income when one is undergoing surgery, has just had a child, etc. With PFML, no one would need to choose between the health of oneself and/or one’s loved ones and being able to pay the bills.

A system of PFML would make me feel more confident about staying in Connecticut and raising a family here, as I would be able to care for the medical needs of my family and myself without having to sacrifice an income.

Austin Longendyke

Norwich, Connecticut