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Duluth Woman Raising Money For Unpaid Maternity Leave

Updated: 07/29/2014 10:42 PM
Created: 07/29/2014 5:06 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

For Nikki Bollman, time is money.

"I'm due today actually," Bollman said.

Bollman works at a Duluth daycare center and is expecting her first child. Her work doesn't offer paid maternity leave, so Bollman is getting creative. She created an online fundraiser for her cause. The concept is called crowdfunding and it's something that's gaining popularity.

"I've had some people who thought it was pretty cool, a neat idea, kind of creative," Bollman said. "I had some comment why don't you just go out and panhandle."

The idea came after bills started stacking up. On top of it all, she has her best friend's wedding coming soon.

Bollman also saw a guy, who was recently on Good Morning America, raised tens of thousands of dollars to make potato salad and she figured she had a worthy cause to try it out.

Behind the unique idea, there's a larger dialogue about paid maternity leave in the United States. Eyewitness News got many opinions from viewers posted to our Facebook page Tuesday.

"Paid maternity leave would be a huge accomplishment for Minnesota," viewer Nina Oven posted on Facebook. "I believe that many companies would find their women employees working harder when they do come back to work."

"When I had my first son, I had to use all my vacation and sick time I had saved up in order to be paid," viewer Jen Villa said on Facebook.

That's the same situation Carlee Conradi is in, but she said it's worth it.

"I wouldn't trade the time off, paid or unpaid, for anything," Conradi said.

Conradi is on maternity leave with her second child. While she said paid time off would be nice, she said employers have the right to choose.

"It's one thing, as women in the workforce, you deal with," Conradi said.

What does Conradi think of Bollman's approach?

"If she can raise the money and do it for herself, that's great," Conradi said.

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