Rep. Gosar First Republican on Important FMLA Bill Co-Sponsors Bill to Protect Rights of Grieving Parents
U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) issued the following statement concerning his co-sponsorship of the Parental Bereavement Leave Act of 2013 (H.R.515), also known as the Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act:
"I am pleased to be the first Republican to co-sponsor the Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act, which protects the rights of grieving parents. I hope that signing as a co-sponsor helps give the bill momentum and that other members of Congress, regardless of party, will follow suit.
“There are some issues that are not Republican or Democrat issues, but are issues that affect all Americans. This is one of them. This bill supports families and costs nothing to businesses or taxpayers.
“It’s just common sense. My hope is that few people will ever need to use this leave, as the loss of a child must be the most traumatic loss one can experience.”
U.S. Congressman Steve Israel (NY-03), who is the original sponsor of H.R.515, also released the following statement:
“It is unacceptable that parents coping with the loss of a child cannot use FMLA leave to grieve for their loss. I’m calling for this to be amended so parents can take the time they need, knowing that their job will be protected. Parents should not have to decide between their job and taking the proper time needed for both themselves and the rest of their family.”
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) mandates up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain family events, including the birth of a child. During that 12 week period, an employer cannot terminate an employee who qualifies for such leave. This bill would add "death of a child" as a life event that would qualify for leave under the FMLA, allowing a grieving parent up to 12 weeks to deal with the trauma and then return to work. Rep. Gosar joins his fellow Arizona Reps. Pastor, Grijalva, Sinema, Barber and Kirkpatrick as sponsors.
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