Next Steps: Farley-Kluger Initiative
A few weeks ago I posted about the Farley-Kluger Initiative and we were asking others to read about and sign this petition. As I continued to research this initiative and further educate myself on the support and timeline, I decided to go straight to the sources – Barry Kluger and Kelly Farley – to try and speak with them. I reached out to both and was able to speak with Barry over the phone. He filled me in on the path that he and Kelly had taken to bring the Farley-Kluger Initiative this far.
Through their efforts and discussions, this has become a bi-partisan bill, supported by three Republicans and three Democrats, led by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ).
The next steps, to keep spreading information and making progress with this bill, entail writing individual letters to your Congressman. I can’t stress the importance of taking a moment to personalize this letter. That can be as simple as adding a line or two to the bottom of the letter that talks about WHY this is important to you, or WHO you may know that has lost a child or children, or WHAT the passing of this bill could mean for the future members of the bereavement community.
Kelly sent me two documents that do a great job of highlighting a briefing of the process as well as a copy of the House Bill. These are both accessible below.
Thank you to those who took a moment to sign the online petition. I have been back to the site a few times a week and have been watching the number grow to over 100,000, in just the past few weeks.
If you would be willing to take 10 minutes of your time and do this next step with us, it would make an impact on the push to get this bill passed.
Barry sent me a draft letter to customize for our District Director and Congressman Doyle.
Please feel free to use this letter, replacing your specific Representatives name and District, based on where you live.
Here is a good reference for Pennsylvania: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/PA#representatives
My name is ___________ and I am a constituent of Rep. Doyle.
I spoke recently with Barry Kluger, who lost his only child, Erica, in a car accident in Arizona in 2001. Since 2011, he and Kelly Farley of IL (who lost two children) began a national Initiative called the Farley-Kluger Initiative to add loss of a child to the FMLA.
In the most recent session of Congress, a bi-partisan bill, led by Rep. Paul Gosar(R-AZ) The Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act (HR1560) was introduced.
Since its introduction on 3/6/17, an equal number of R’s and D’s have been added to make it truly bi-partisan.
As a mother who lost a child ___________________, I cannot fathom having to return to work after only 3-5 days, as opposed to the FMLA which offers UP to 12 weeks unpaid for adoption, birth or family illness or veteran caregiving duties. The best assets of a company get on the elevator every day at 5PM and loyal employees are not being given time to grieve.It affects morale and loyalty and frankly, it’s just bad business.
With so much pain and loss in our lives, this effort is one that recognizes all Americans and their contributions to the economy and the workplace. I am hopeful that you will look into this and perhaps make contact with Rep.Gosar’s staffer, Joshua Ronk and support this bill as it is introduced.
I thank you for taking the time to read this and please thank Congressman Doyle for representing the people of the 14th District.
When speaking with Barry he said the Representatives have 18 months left in this session to get a vote.
Please help give a voice to grieving parents who are trying to pave the way for those in the future who may have to face the loss of a child or children. Please help us as we push to educate the public about the life of grieving parents and also help educate the corporations and employers that employ these parents.
This is not JUST about grieving parents. It’s about creating change and educating other on how to HELP and SUPPORT grieving families.