I work as a trainer at a local gym. I suffer from autoimmune arthritis and a chronic condition has caused degenerative disk disease that can be remedied only by surgery. Like so many other Connecticut residents, if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. I can’t afford to take any unpaid time off, so a leave to get surgery and recover from it is out of the question.

Paid Family Leave would change my life. With this law in place, I could undergo the surgery I need and take the time to recover from it. As it is now, I can’t have the surgery because of financial reasons. I hate sacrificing my health for a paycheck but I have no other choice as I have been turned down for government assistance because I make more than $500 every month.

The representative from the Department of Social Services actually suggested that I work less in order to qualify for assistance. I refuse to do that. I like my job and I want to continue to work to improve my life and the lives of my clients. An added stressor in my life is that I know that not having surgery now will impact my health later in my career, perhaps to the point that I will no longer be able to work at all. Surely this is not what lawmakers wants for their constituents.

With Paid Family and Medical Leave in place in Connecticut, employees across the state can maintain their finances while they keep their jobs and maintain their careers.

Holly McGrath, Milford