Family Medical Leave Act Doesn't Cover Death of a Child - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Family Medical Leave Act Doesn't Cover Death of a Child

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REHOBOTH BEACH, De.- The Family and Medical Leave Act allows eligible employees to take unpaid, job protected leave for family or medical emergencies. 

The FMLA does not include time off for the death of a child. 

Marge Lafond lost her son seven years ago. At the time she was working for the Rehoboth Beach Library. 

“I had been working at the library for quite a few years and it wasn't even a question. It was just simply take all the time you need,” said Lafond. 

Lafond was lucky her employer was generous in giving her the time off she needed to grieve. She runs the Compassionate Friends support group for parents who've lost their children, and says she knows parents who were forced to go back to work because they weren't given the time off under FMLA.  

“Some of of people that I've come in contact with have had problems where they've lost their jobs, because they tried to return to work too soon,” said Lafond. “They couldn't do the job. They have to go back to work if they're going to keep their job and they have to have the job if they're going to live.”

The Family and Medical Leave Act gives eligible employees up to 12 work weeks off for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for themselves or  a family member with a serious health condition, or for an urgent matter with a military family member on active duty. 

Lafond said she knows the heartbreak and pain of a losing a child and it should be included in the FMLA. 

“I can't really express what you go through, but when you adopt a child or when you have a child you need that time to recover medically. You need that time to bond with your child. That bond is something that's formed, and then when you lose that child that bond is broken. You need that time psychologically and physically, in every which way,” said Lafond. 
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