Christine’s Story

Having the peace to know I will be able to cover my bills and monthly costs while also being off to take care of my daughter after her open heart surgery and the long road to recovery meant the world to me and I would only want the same for others in my same situation.

As a member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Christine was involved in advocating to ensure that all county employees had access to up to six weeks of paid family and medical leave they could use to welcome a new child or care for themselves or a loved one experiencing an ongoing health issue. In July of 2020, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors passed this policy.

The change couldn’t have come soon enough for Christine, who found out at the beginning of 2020 that she was due to give birth to a baby girl in August. During her pregnancy, Christine’s doctors informed her that her daughter had an abnormality in her heart that would require special care when she was born. After Christine gave birth, her newborn daughter spent 48 days in the hospital and underwent open heart surgery in her first weeks of life.

Having access to paid family and medical leave ensured that Christine was able to be there when her daughter needed her most. Without this leave, Christine would have had to take unpaid leave from work, putting her family in serious financial trouble. Knowing that her employer cared enough about her and her family to provide the leave she needed gave Christine peace of mind to focus all her time and attention where it mattered most – making sure her new daughter got the best care possible and recovered quickly.