"It is unacceptable that parents coping with the loss of a child cannot use FMLA leave to grieve for their loss," Israel said. "Today I'm calling for this to be amended so parents can take the time they need, knowing that their job will be protected.
Israel's bill is being supported by Matt Weippert, who founded the Sarah Grace Foundation to help children fighting cancer. Weippert said he was faced with having to return to work just five days after burying his daughter, which he said was "devastating both emotionally and physically."
Israel said he would soon introduce a bill to make the change, and would call it the Sarah Grace Act to amend the FMLA. Under his bill, people would qualify for up to 12 weeks of time off if they have worked in the same job for at least 12 months, worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to taking leave, and are employed at a site that has 50 or more employees within 75 miles of that site.