Belhaven, NC resident Deborah Chrystal wrote a letter to the editor in response to Think policy analyst Marion Johnson's paid leave op-ed. Click here to see the letter at newsobserver.com. 


Marion Johnson’s Nov. 14 Point of View “Paid leave would pay off for North Carolina” hit close to home.

I am one of the over one million North Carolinians she talked about. I live in Bellhaven, a small town Down East, where I am a full-time caregiver for my son, a totally dependent adult with special needs. Neither I nor the home health aide, who helps me with my son, has paid leave.

It is ridiculous for those in health care, who are already underpaid, to not have paid leave. Not only can they not afford to miss work, they cannot be around their clients when they are sick, and sometimes they get sick caring for ill clients. What are they supposed to do? What am I supposed to do? What about my son?

If only more workers here, especially in low-wage and no-benefits service jobs like fast-food, home care and child care, had union contracts, which typically guarantee paid leave, we wouldn’t be asking those questions. But here we are, in the least unionized state in the nation.

Time for our legislature to do what the private sector can’t or won’t do by passing a paid leave law.

DEBORAH CHRYSTAL

BELHAVEN