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Bill would add bereavement to paid family leave

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - New legislation would expand the family leave bill, giving New York employees 12-weeks leave for bereavement.

“It’s just written too broadly.”

That’s the biggest complaint of Frank Kerbein with the small business council of New York State has with the new legislation.

That’s why Kerbein says the organization, which represents about 2,400 companies, is not supporting legislation for expansion of paid family leave to include bereavement.

“While we’re sympathetic to use of bereavement time for the loss of a loved one, this bill is not the answer for that.”

The organization is asking for the governor to veto the bill.

“If I were to take family paid leave to bond with a child, I would have to complete that leave within 52-weeks of the birth of the child. There are no such restrictions as written in this bill.”

Kerbein claims the parameters are too loose. He also says the hardest hit will be small businesses.  But for those who deal with grief regularly, say it to is immeasurable.

“Having losses young just inspired me to want to care for people.”

Ciara Diemer says there’s not an exact time for the grieving process.

“It’s very individualized.”

Diemer is a supervisor at the Hospice of Albany County.

“Those time frames are really tricky.”

She says the structure is the key to stepping out grief.

“One of the best things for folks after a loss is to reintegrate into their normal social settings.”

2020 is the year an expansion is set to take effect if it’s not vetoed.

“It’s long from over. We just want to make this bill better so that employees and employers can benefit from it.”

The business council says if the legislation is passed, they hope for some amendments.


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