Parental Bereavement Act (Farley-Kluger Initiative)

It is my opinion that the death of a child is one of the worst experiences that anyone can endure.  Many employers allow for bereavement leave up to 2-3 days.  Employees are expected to use their available vacation time after the 2-3 days of bereavement leave have been expended.  If the employee exhausts both of these benefits and still requires additional time off the employer has grounds to terminate the employee.

I find it unacceptable that the death of a child is not included as a protected reason to qualify for 12 weeks of unpaid leave as part of the FMLA.  If you agree with me, I ask you to do two things:  1) Click on the link above and sign the e-petition and 2) Share this link with people you know either by emailing it or through social media. 

Let’s see if we can get someone’s attention on this issue.

 Petition to Modify Existing Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)


Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA)

Brief Overview of Existing FMLA Benefits:

The FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees. These employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:  

  •  for the birth and care of the newborn child of an employee;
  • for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition;
  • to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition; or
  • to care for an injured service member in the family

Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

 Issue with FMLA:

The issue with the current FMLA is the fact that it doesn’t extend benefits (outlined above) to employees that have experienced the death of a child.

Objective of Petition:

Modify existing FMLA to expand coverage and existing benefits to employees that have experienced the death of a child.

4 Responses to FMLA

  1. Kelly Roberts says:

    I work at a Fortune 500 company in an area of Human Resources that reviews and processes employees’ FMLA applications/requests. Kelly’s story points out something valid but tricky–people who are grieving the loss of a child often due end up suffering from a “serious health condition” that could be recognized under the FMLA (i.e. depression, anxiety, etc.). But if they can’t admit that fact or seek professional help, they are left with no option for job-protected time away from work after the loss of their child.

    That is why this proposed amendment to the FMLA is so important. People shouldn’t be left to suffer and try to work at the same time just because they may be unable to identify or admit to the affect their grief has had on them.

    Best wishes!

  2. Tim Maceyko says:

    On March 20, 2013 we lost our five year old son. There is nothing that compares to this pain and unless you have lost a child yourself you simply cannot truly relate. The FMLA issue is one that came to my attention and so I already called my own congressman before stumbling across this site after doing more on line research. Glad to see it and wish you succes. I am happy to assist in any way that I can. If anyone is interested my child’s story is on facebook at “In Memory of Seth James Maceyko.” Life will certainly never be the same.

  3. Erin and Mike says:

    I’m so happy to have found this site! We lost our baby boy at 18 weeks on 1/10/13 and my husband had to go through all the FMLA bs at our job. They at first were only willing to give me FMLA until I fought it because he was there caring for me. I hate how men are always shafted when dealing with this sort of thing. It wasn’t only me that lost our child, my husband did too! Bless you for being there and taking initiative for others. I’ll definitely sign the petition and send it to everyone I know! Take care,

    ~ Erin

    • Grieving Dads says:


      I am so sorry to learn of the loss of your sweet baby boy. I applaud you for fighting for the time for your husband. I think its a good idea the both of you take some time away from work if you can.

      Thank you for sharing out initiative with others, we are going to need all the help we can get in order to get this passed.



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