The Need for Paid Sick Days: A Worker’s Perspective

Mary Hume came to the EJC Workers’ Rights Clinic after her employer refused to pay her for sick days she had earned.

Mary worked as a counselor at a residential facility for youth leaving the juvenile justice system. As an employee there Mary should have been covered under the  paid sick leave legislation EJC helped pass in 2008. However, Mary, like many low-income workers, was denied this right by her employer and consequently was forced to go to work sick  in order to pay her bills.

Watch below to hear Mary explain why it is so important that workers have access to paid sick days.

Mary injured her shoulder in 2009, but worked the overnight shift in pain every day for 6 months because she knew her employer did not usually pay workers for their sick days. Mary eventually had to take off 3 days after having shoulder surgery. When her employer refused to pay her for her 3 sick days, she went to the Office of Wage and Hour and filed a complaint and was eventually able to get paid the three days of wages she was owed. Although Mary was glad to get the wages she was rightfully owed, waiting months for the 3 days of wages was a hardship on her family.

Watch below to hear Mary talk about the impact of losing 3 days of wages.

Join Mary as a member of the Paid Sick Days for All Campaign and sign the petition to tell the DC Council that we need stronger paid sick leave legislation so that employers do not deny their employees of this basic right!