Nestle: Allow me to care for my dying husband and keep my job
This petition made change with 61,005 supporters!
Like most married couples, I imagined my husband and I growing old together, watching our five children grow up and start their own families, and creating a lifetime of memories. I never imagined I'd be forced to choose between caring for my dying husband or keeping the job I would need to support our family after he passed. I never imagined the choice would be made more complicated and heart breaking by the diagnosis of breast cancer in my mother after learning my husband had only four months to live.
I have started this petition because I cannot afford to make the choice in front of me. It is a choice too many people have had to make because their loved ones do not die in the 12 work weeks of unpaid leave protected by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Anyone who has stood by the side of someone who has battled terminal cancer knows the value of each remaining moment. They know how love can keep people with us a little longer, make them stronger than the cancer for one more day. They fight to stay alive so they can share one more laugh, story, or just to embrace a family member one more time.
I'm asking you to join me in calling on my employer, Nestle, to extend my unpaid leave until my husband passes. They have the ability to go further than the FMLA, providing their employees the time they need with to care for loved ones without the fear their job will not be there if a loved one doesn't die quick enough.
It is a situation that can happen to anybody in the blink of an eye. Our nightmare started with a trip to the emergency room. My husband was not feeling well, complaining of severe back pain. 4 hours later we were at the hospital sitting in a room as we listened to the doctor that he had a tumor in his kidney. With tears in her eyes, she said, "This is not good." Further testing revealed my husband had Kidney Cancer (Renal Cell Carcinoma) - Stage 4. He had 17 tumors in his body. We were told he had 4 months to live.
Currently, the FMLA law doesn't go far enough. It entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid job protected leave for a short period of 12 work weeks in a 12 month period. Only military families are covered for 26 work weeks of leave during a single 12 month period. Action by Congress is required to strengthen the law, but we all know they are not up to the task of accomplishing much these days.
Like so many families, I can't wait for Congress to act. What we can call on is companies like Nestle to lead the way - ensure families don't have to worry about losing loved ones and their jobs. Help keep families secure in their most vulnerable moments by extending the unpaid leave in terminal cases. Please join me in asking Nestle to let me care for my husband until he passes. Sign the petition and share with friends today.
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