Publix: Treat employees with dignity

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A few months ago, I became a dad to Fynlee and becoming her dad has been one of the greatest joys of my life and the time I get to spend with her is precious. But my employer, Publix, doesn’t offer any paid family leave, so after she was born I was left with no option but to use my vacation days to have the time I needed to bond with Fynlee.

It wasn’t nearly enough. Even after only three months, I can see the difference between the connection she has with me and the connection she has with her mom. I try to make her smile the way she smiles with her mom, but it’s not the same because I’m not the one spending all the time with her.

After reading PL+US’ 2018 Employer Scorecard, I learned that Publix is the worst employer for families -- they provide zero weeks of paid family leave.

I’ve been at Publix for 15 years and I love working there, but the values they show their customers are very different from the reality facing Publix employees.

When I found out that they don’t offer any paid leave, I was disappointed. And I’m not alone. A coworker with a five-month-old baby shared with me that she only had one week of paid short-term disability and seven weeks of FMLA, which is unpaid. It’s sad when you see mothers coming back to work at Publix so soon after giving birth. 

When I tried to use my sick days to help support Fynlee’s mom while she recovered, I was told that it wasn’t allowed. And I couldn’t afford to use FMLA because our family couldn’t go without a paycheck. Fathers have a role as caregivers too, but we can’t do that if we’re not given the time. Some days I see my fiancé and Fynlee for only a couple of hours because of my workload. I do my best. I am there, just not as much as I’d hope any father could be. 

Join me in asking Publix to introduce a paid family and medical leave policy of 12 weeks for all employees.