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People of Richmond: Could you afford to take family leave?

on October 20, 2022

People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity.

Q: Would receiving 90% of your pay enable you to take eight weeks off to care for a newborn or sick relative?

People of Richmond

“Yeah. I have a son that is autistic, I do need that kind of stuff. My mom. I do take care of them. It would be nice to have that.” (Sulaiman Asif, retail worker)

People of Richmond

“I would, perhaps making some adjustments. Ninety percent is a pretty good call, I would say. I can cut some things. Maybe I would not go out to eat to many restaurants as often as I would like to. Perhaps I would save a haircut for when I’m back to work. Yes, I think with some adjustments, I think 90%, it would be workable.” (Rosana Brito, restaurateur)

People of Richmond

“No, it’s definitely not enough. For me personally, my rent is relatively low, but for many other people the rent is just too high. A lot of people pay a majority of their paycheck on rent and then you have fuel which is getting more expensive on top of all your essentials.” (Diego Chavez, food truck owner)

People of Richmond

“Yes. But I think because our society spends too much time working it doesn’t give enough time for taking care of our own children. We happen to spend a lot of money on early childcare. So that’s an issue.” (Kwesi Roberts, Realtor)

People of Richmond

“Yes. I think that [paid leave] has really long term benefits, especially for kids. I mean, here we are in a school, an outdoor school. And I think those first few months that parents can spend with their children, as well as anytime a child is having a sort of medical issue in their lives, I think it’s a huge deal for the parents to be able to stay home, and that has impact for the rest of
that child’s life, right? (Jennifer Folsom)

People of Richmond

“Yes. I would be able to afford it at 90% and frankly at 60-70% but I know that I’m probably in the minority there and I think it is something that is valuable as a society, to take care of our elders, our children, our sick people. It should be recognized. So I think bumping that up to 90% is a really good move.” (Liv Imset, environmental consultant)

People of Richmond

“Currently no. It’s the cost of living for most people, not just myself. I’d say that assuming no savings, even taking one week off can take several months just to catch up and then there are always unexpected expenses or a random bill comes up.” (Edgar Ibarra, inventory manager)

People of Richmond

“Ninety percent of a wage is actually a lot so that would be close to what I’m making now. It’ll help, put it like that. It definitely would be a good thing that would be welcome. Especially cause I’ve had family issues before. I mean California is really expensive in general and most people’s wages don’t cover the stuff that they have now so 90% is great.” (Robin Williams, store manager)

Newsom signs family leave expansion to benefit lower paid workers

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Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.

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