Paid parental leave would do wonders for me and my family.
I work at the VA hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, and went on leave after having my second child, Azaria. When my daughter was born, I had only been able to build-up about 70 hours of personal and sick leave. I worked until the day I had her to avoid using the time.
Fortunately, I received 80 hours of donated personal time from my father, who works for another federal agency. But this time was not enough to cover my time off.
I have exhausted all my leave reserves, leaving me no choice but to return to work because I can't afford to go without a paycheck. My husband was laid off from his job, making me the sole income in our home.
Having paid parental leave would take away a lot of financial stress from new parents. I know I still will have to take days off with no pay for her doctors appointments. And God forbid if she, my other daughter, or I get sick.
Granting paid parental leave would allow parents to focus more on healing and bonding with their child. Implementing Paid Parental Leave would also help foster better morale and improve employee retention by making employees feel like their personal needs and families matter.