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Father who lost daughter wants to expand FMLA to include grieving period

A father from Arizona who lost his daughter when she was age 18 wants to expand the Family Medical Leave Act to include a grieving period to mourn the loss of an immediate family member. The Arizona father's effort is combined with the effort of Illinois father who lost two infants within the time period of 18 months. The pair of fathers has started an online petition to amend the FMLA that has 11,000 supporters.

The Arizona father says the Family Medical Leave Act provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave time for the adoption or birth of a child or care of a sick family member. The father says that if a loved one in your family dies the employee is subject to the will of the company and may only get two or three days to mourn. The two fathers would like to amend the FMLA so that parents who have lost a child may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Based on their own experiences, the fathers want to provide others with enough time to heal from their loss.

The father from Arizona who lost his daughter ten years ago is still immediately moved when he talks about her. He was golfing the day his 18-year-old daughter died. He received a message from the hospital and when he called the hospital the hospital said his daughter's condition was bad but did not tell him his daughter had already been dead for an hour. Immediately he began to think about all of his daughter's life experiences he would not be able to see; like graduating from college and getting married. Since that time his goal has been to help other families navigate their losses.

Source: Azfamily.com, "Scottsdale dad pushing for Family and Medical Leave Act amendment," Brandy Aguilar, 4/25/11

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