Protect Our Jobs, President Biden!

ACT NOW!

Please Join Evermore and Other Organizations in Protecting American Jobs

No one should be fired after losing a loved one.

Today, there are no legal protections following the death of a loved one, except for narrow exceptions in two states and two localities. Newly bereaved Americans should not worry about losing their job in the aftermath.

 

Right now, The White House and other lawmakers are working on measures to protect family health and well-being. We have a unique opportunity to share secure job protection for the newly bereaved, but lawmakers must hear from you now.

Organization Sign-on Letter

 

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20500

 

April 19, 2021

 

Dear Mr. President, 

Thank you for your service and leadership to our country.

 

On behalf of bereaved families throughout America, we request you safeguard American families by including bereavement leave as part of your agenda to expand family leave benefits and protections. 

 

As the nation confronts concurrent mortality tragedies, employment protection for the newly bereaved has never been more important. Bereavement leave is job protection and millions of Americans who have lost a loved one have no legal right to take leave, with narrow exceptions in two states and two localities. Currently, bereavement is not acceptable grounds for taking unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, except for miscarriage or stillbirth losses or when a solider is killed in action. This chasm not only leaves millions of Americans at risk for losing their job, but also can be a precipitating event that can send an individual or family into poverty, homelessness and other dire outcomes that can alter a person’s life trajectory permanently. 

 

Job protections for the newly bereaved may include the following:  

  1. Leave: Ten days of unpaid leave following the death of a family member or loved one.
  2. Age of a child: Define the age of a child up to age 26 bringing age parity with existing health care and tax law.
  3. Definition of a family member or loved one: While there is no one standard, proposed or passed state laws define a family member or loved one as: (1) Spouses, domestic partners, and both different-sex and same-sex significant others: or (2) Any other family member within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity: or (3) A member of the covered employee’s household, including a minor’s parents, regardless of the sex or gender of either parent. Most laws liberally define parenthood as legal parents, foster parents, same-sex parent, stepparents, those serving in loco parentis, and other persons operating in caretaker roles.

 

Make no mistake employment protection is not simply about planning a funeral or grieving. Maintaining family stability and solvency in the short- and long-term can be a challenge, especially when families face housing, food and other insecurities. Further, Jewish and Native American traditions, for example, have cultural and religious requirements or norms that must be carried out within specific timeframes. The threat of losing your job under these conditions is unacceptable.

 

The unexpected death of a loved one is the most common traumatic experience Americans report; many report their loss as their worst life experience. Today, more than 5 million families have lost a loved one due to COVID-19 in the United States, including an estimated 40,000 newly bereaved children who have lost a parent. Millions more are bereaved from deaths due to overdoses, suicide, mass murder events, homicide, transportation fatalities and other tragedies that never make our nation’s headlines. The impact of bereavement on American lives is both stunning and underappreciated. Consider the following:

 

  • Bereaved children are at-risk of school failures, juvenile justice incarceration, drug abuse, violent crime involvement, suicide attempts, suicide, and premature death.
  • Bereaved siblings are at-risk of dropping out of school, teen pregnancy, and premature death.
  • Bereaved parents are at heightened risk for depressive symptoms, poorer well-being, less purpose in life, more health complications, marital disruption, psychiatric hospitalization, cancer incidence, dementia, and premature death.
  • Bereaved spouses at risk of depression, post-traumatic stress, prolonged grief and premature death.

 

Racial inequalities are magnified across the life course as Black Americans are more likely to experience the death of children, spouses, siblings and parents when compared to white Americans. They are three times as likely as white Americans to have two or more family members die by the time they reach the age of 30.

 

Bereavement leave is not an academic exercise. Real families are behind these statistics. 

 

Today, families are left to fend for themselves and without any legal protections. Losing a loved one is more than an emotional hardship, it is an urgent threat to their family wellbeing and economic resiliency. If bereavement leave is not considered now, it will be years before Congress will reconsider codifying employment protections into law.

 

As the nation’s highest office, we ask that you provide job protection to America’s newly bereaved families. No other time in history has this been more urgent. The cost of inaction is incalculable. 

 

We look forward to working with you and your administration.


Sincerely,

1st Breath

2 Degrees Foundation

A Sacred Passing Death Midwifery and Community Education

Adam’s House

Advocates for Victims of Impaired/Distracted Driving

Alana Rose Foundation

Alive Alone, Inc.

Alive Hospice

Altarum

American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work

Angel Eyes

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety

Ashlie’s Embrace

Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare

Austin Center for Grief & Loss

Banister Advisors, LLC

Bereaved Parents of Madison, Inc. Madison, WI

Better Not Bitter Mom LLC

Camp HOPE Inc.

Casey Feldman Foundation

Center for Alternatives in Community Justice

Center for Complicated Grief

Child HELP Partnership

Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico

Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas

Clinical Social Work Association

Coalition of Concerned Mothers

Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies

Conor Lynch Foundation

COPE, New York

Counseling Program, Marshall University

COVID Survivors for Change

Dane County, County Executive, Joe Parisi

Empowered NICU Parenting

Erin’s House for Grieving Children

Evans Team

Evermore

Evolving My Path

Families for Safe Streets

Farley-Kluger Initiative

Feldman Mortuary

Florida SADD

Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition

Forneret Co.

Friends of Aine

FRIENDS WAY

Give InKind

Glioblastoma Support Network

Gold Star Parents Retreat

Grief Coach

Grief Resource Center

Hang Up And Drive

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies – The Montana Coalition

Hope and Healing of Pinellas

HOPE Connection, Los Angeles

Hospice Foundation of America

Infant Death Center of Wisconsin

Inner Harbor

Institute for Safer Trucking

Journey Through Bereavement

Judi’s House

Lantern, PBC

Louis D. Brown Peace Institute

Marked By COVID

Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance

Mayor, City of Madison, Satya Rhodes-Conway

MEND

Modern Loss

Mothers’ Milk Alliance, Inc. Madison, WI

Myers Compassionate Grief Services

Na Keiki O Emalia (Emalia’s Children)

National Alliance of Grieving Children

National Association for Rural Mental Health

National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors

New Hope for Kids

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Parent Support of Puget Sound

Portland Institute for Loss and Transition

Public Health Madison & Dane County, Wisconsin

Refuge in Grief

Safe Crossings Foundation

Southern California Families for Safe Streets

Star Legacy Foundation

Stop 4 Aidan

Street Racing Kills

String of Pearls

Structureworks Fabrication

SUDC Foundation

Sudden Infant Death Services of Illinois, Inc.

TEARS Foundation

The Catch You Later Foundation

The Children’s Room

The Cove Center for Grieving Children

The Dougy Center

The Grief Center of Southwest Colorado

The Kentucky Center for Grieving Children and Families, Inc.

The Sun Will Rise Foundation, Inc.

The Tristesse Grief Center

The Wendt Center for Loss & Healing

Tides, Inc.

Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)

Uplift Center for Grieving Children

Valerie’s House

Virginia Mason Grief Services

Walking Each Other Home Madison, WI

We Save Lives

Willow Center