Chicago, IL and Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) June 12, 2013
With Father’s Day just days away, 61,000 supporters of The Farley-Kluger Initiative have petitioned members of Congress to support legislation in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives that proposes the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 be expanded to include loss of a child as a qualified condition. The national petition to Congress can be found at http://www.FARLEYKLUGER.COM.
The Farley-Kluger Initiative, which inspired the two bills in Congress, was begun in January 2011 by Kelly Farley, Founder of the Grieving Dads Project (http://www.GrievingDads.com) and Barry Kluger, a non-profit executive (http://www.missfoundation.org) and author of “A Life Undone: a Father’s Journey Through Loss.”
On February 5, 2013, U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced S.226, The Parental Bereavement Act of 2011 and has nine co-sponsors. On the same day, the 20th anniversary of the FMLA, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced a companion bill, The Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act, which now has 26 co-sponsors. The current FMLA of 1993 provides up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for adoption or birth of a child, illness of an employee, family member or service member but no provision for leave for the death of child. These identical bills simply add a new and needed circumstance to the qualifying factors.
The Farley-Kluger Initiative is named after Katie (2004) and Noah (2006) Farley and Erica Kluger (2001) whose young lives were tragically cut short through illness (Farley) and an automobile accident (Kluger).
Kelly Farley began the Grieving Dads Project (http://www.GrievingDads.com) as an online community for fathers who lost children to come together, share their experiences and support each other. Farley has spent the last three years writing and speaking on the subject of dad’s grief and how it is often ignored in our society. He continues to work towards bringing awareness to the issues bereaved parents deal with in the aftermath of losing a child.
Barry Kluger is a former media executive and speaker, who has written extensively about his loss. He published a book on the tragedy, “A Life Undone: A Father’s Journey Through Loss in 2010 and re-issued the book in 2012 with updates on the legislative efforts. He is CEO of The MISS Foundation, the global grief and loss organization.
Messrs. Farley and Kluger commented: “We grieve for our own lost children every single day, but with Father’s Day approaching, we want to help our fellow grieving parents turn grief into action. We believe that the legislation now before Congress helps provide much needed time to help working parents – male and female - deal with the initial blow of losing a child. We urge our leaders in Washington to support this minor change to the FMLA and give those who are in pain, the opportunity-and the time- to deal with their loss.”
They added: “The best assets of a company walk out the door at the end of the workday. They are what makes the economy move. They have given their employers loyalty, dedication and productivity but in the eyes of some companies, the death of a child makes them ‘expendable’ if they are unable to return to work the day after burying their child.”
Messrs. Farley and Kluger concluded: “We cannot begin to imagine why anyone would not want to extend a compassionate hand to those who have lost a child. Have we really become a country that is focused more on the bottom line than helping our neighbors through difficult times? It is our sincere hope that these bills be discussed and passed and that the healing process for all parents be allowed to begin, unencumbered.”
The Farley-Kluger Initiative is proud to have the support of such organizations as The Polly Klaas Foundation, National Association of Social Workers, American Counseling Association, The Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation, Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA), First Candle, The Grief Recovery Institute Educational Foundation, Parents of Murdered Children (POMC), The MISS Foundation, Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support, Inc., The JED Foundation, Blue Star Families, Gold Star Mothers and Fathers, The Sarah Grace Foundation for Children with Cancer, The Children's Bereavement Center of Miami, National Students of AMF, American Academy of Grief Counseling, National Alliance for Grieving Children, Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance and The American Institute for Health Care Professionals,
Barry Kluger, (480) 703-8135, Barry(at)BarryKluger(dot)com
Kelly Farley, (630) 561-5989, Kelly(at)GrievingDads(dot)com