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Local family travels to Washington to push for FAMILY Act

Posted at 6:24 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 19:25:55-05

For many Wisconsin workers getting seriously sick means losing money. A group of federal lawmakers wants to change that through the proposed Family Act.

For several years, Racine resident Maria Hernandez worked for Amazon, while also caring for her deaf son, Fidel. Then she got sick. Maria found out she had diabetes and high cholesterol, her condition only worsened.

“I felt so dizzy and my legs… I couldn’t even walk. It was terrible,” Maria said.

Unable to work, her family was down to only Fidel's income and sometimes they didn’t have money for food. Fidel, who also works at Amazon, couldn’t miss work to help his mom.

“It hurt me that I could not be there for my mom. After working 10 hours a day, I would drive home through construction traffic and all I could think about is, ‘Is my mom OK? God, please take care of my mom',” Fidel said.

Federal lawmakers pushing for the FAMILY Act are using Fidel and Maria's story to help their case, the two went to DC to speak out in support of the legislation.

Republicans in the US Legislature are also working on a bill to allow paid family leave. However, that bill would deduct from future social security benefits in order to pay for the medical leave.