On March 16, 2017, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a measure that would amend the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide workers with leave due to the death of a son or daughter. The Parental Bereavement Act of 2017 (also known as the Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act) would add "death of a child" as a life event that would qualify for unpaid leave under the FMLA, giving a parent up to 12 weeks before returning to work.
- Currently, the FMLA mandates up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain family events, including the birth of a child—but not for the loss of a child.
- During that 12-week period, an employer cannot terminate an employee who qualifies for such leave.
- The bill does not mandate any costs to employers.
Similar measures were introduced in the last three sessions of Congress, but none of them progressed beyond committee. Since FMLA is one of the top inquiries to our HR Hotline Advisors, MRA will keep an eye on this legislation and report any updates that would affect our members.
Source: Michael Hyatt, HR Government Affairs Director, MRA – The Management Association