Portland is my city. My Portland pride is matched only by my desire to ensure Portland is a city where the health and economic security of people of color and working families are not left behind as the city develops and gentrifies. The paid sick days proposal before the City Council will make a world of difference in keeping us all afloat, with a healthy wind in our sails.
When I worked at a tech retailer a few years ago, there was a three-strike rule for calling out sick. Three strikes and you’re out, even though anyone with a cold is contagious for five to seven days. This meant that too often, my co-workers and I went to work no matter how sick we felt.
I live with a disorder that can cause episodes of fainting or vomiting. One day at work, I left the sales floor because I felt an episode happening. My manager yelled at me to get back out on the floor. As I attempted to do so, I passed out. An ambulance was called, I spent hours in the emergency room, and then I was sent home with a medical bill I couldn’t afford – on top of a missed day’s pay and a strike on my record.
Portland, let’s join the dozens of other cities that have required paid sick days. It’s time.