New Bill May Allow Parents to Use FMLA for Loss of a Child

A new bill was recently introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives that would amend the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to permit parents the use of leave to mourn the death of a child.

The new bill, known as the Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act, would add “because of the death of a son or daughter” to the list of FMLA entitlements and would allow parents to take up to 12 weeks of leave.

The bill has garnered bipartisan support. Republican Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ) is one of the bill’s co-sponsors and described the legislation as “commonsense” as a way to allow parents to cope with such a devastating loss and still remain productive at work.

“As a father of three amazing children myself, I know I can speak for everyone here today that our goal is to protect the rights of grieving parents who face the unthinkable pain of losing a child,” said Gosar. “Expanding the FMLA to cover parents coping with the devastation of losing a child is beyond reasonable and should have been included when the legislation was originally passed.”

“This commonsense, bipartisan bill is about what we are supposed to be doing in Congress – identifying problems and solving them together in a way that makes sense to help the people that we represent,” said Congresswoman Martha McSally (AZ). “Giving grieving parents the option for time off from work equal to that for parents who have given birth and adopted, simply makes sense to all of us who are in support of this bill.”

It is said that this legislation is less expensive and less controversial than requiring employers to provide paid family medical leave. President Trump is in support of some kind of paid family leave, but as of now this new bill could help move along the pending request for paid leave.

Should the Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act not pass, it may be in the best interest of employers to consider adding such a policy to help create a more compassionate workplace.

Sources: The Employer Handbook by Eric B. Meyer | The FMLA may be amended to include leave for a parent to grieve the loss of a child

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