Low-wage workers struggle to care for families, keep jobs
Ashley Maddox boards a bus and heads to work at a restaurant in Miami’s South Beach, a chore that can take up to 1 1/2 hours. Once she arrives, she writes up orders, serves food and clears tables. Some days she brings home just $20, other days more. When her shift ends, the single mother heads back home on the bus to her toddler son, whom she leaves in the care of his grandmother or aunt, or a friend.
Each week, Maddox’s schedule changes, making a more stable child-care arrangement challenging. Whether she has a cough, cold or fever, Maddox still gets on the bus and goes to work. “I don’t get any sick days or benefits, and I need my job.”
Last week, when low-wage workers gathered to show support for a proposed new paid sick leave law in Miami-Dade County, Maddox was there with her son on her hip. At 27, Maddox has had a series of low-paying jobs serving food. She’s been struggling to stay well and hold onto her current job for about a year.
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