Parental Bereavement Act May Amend FMLA

August 28, 2011

Kelly Farley faced one of the most tragic events any parent could face — the death of his daughter. In order to cope with the grief stemming from such a loss, he applied for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave only to find that such an event is not covered by the Act. Instead, he requested FMLA leave to care for his grieving wife, who was suffering from depression in the aftermath of the family’s loss. Farley later went on to help found The Grieving Dads Project, a grass roots initiative that helps fathers deal with the loss of their children.

Out of the Project also grew the Farley-Kluger Amendment to the FMLA. Introduced on July 13, 2011 by Senator Jon Tester of Montana, the bill would allow a parent 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period due to the death of a child. The other provisions of the FMLA would remain unchanged. As of now, the bill has no co-sponsors and has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions for review and consideration.