WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) today announced that he has signed on to a legislative effort that would expand the Family and Medical Leave Act to protect grieving parents from losing their jobs in the event of a child’s death.
The Parental Bereavement Act would amend the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to give parents up to 12 weeks of unpaid, but job-protected, time off of work to cope with the death of a child. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 3,000 American children between the ages of one and 14 die suddenly each year from accidents.
“Parents grieving the loss of a child shouldn’t have to fear losing their job too,” Booker said. “This bill is a common sense expansion of family protections that Americans rely on.”
Today marks the 23rd anniversary of President Bill Clinton signing the Family Medical Leave Act in 1993.
Booker also supports legislation that would provide paid family leave for Americans. Booker is an original cosponsor of the Healthy Families Act, which would allow workers to earn up to seven paid sick days per year to recover from illness or take care of a loved one. He also is a cosponsor of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, which would establish a federal paid family leave policy.
“Paid family leave provides stability for families. Unfortunately, American family leave laws lag behind the rest of the world and we have a long way to go to catch up,” Booker said. “Congress must act to strengthen these laws.”