MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Paid Leave Works for West Virginia coalition hosted a picnic on Monday evening rallying for legislative change to the amount of time off employees are given. The picnic was held at the pavilion in Krepp’s Park.
The bulk of the conversation surrounding paid leave at the picnic involved parental leave following the birth of a child. However, organizers were quick to note that maternal or paternal leave was not the only reason an employee might need time off.
They went further to explain that if that person, or a family member, needed care, they should be able to take work off to do so. Right now, an employee would have to choose between the health of themselves or someone they love, or work.
Alisa Clements, a member of the Paid Leave Works for WV group, cited the COVID-19 as a time when many had to struggle with that decision. With people forced into isolation when they test positive or are deemed a close contact, the situation might arise that they do not have enough paid leave days to isolate for a minimum of ten days. In jobs that do not allow for remote work, that person could be forced to quit their job due to a situation out of their control.
“This kind of policy would be so helpful for people that do have to struggle between whether they work, or whether they stay home and take care of their health or take care of a family member that may be sick,” Clements said.
Monday was the third picnic Paid Leave Works for WV had throughout the summer. The other two stops were in Wheeling and Charleston. The group focused on areas where Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito had offices, in hopes to get their attention and begin change on the federal level. That trend continues with the coalition’s next event in Shepherdstown on Sept. 9.