Paid Leave After a Stillbirth
Published on February 1st, 2023
Memorandum of Support
Re: S2175 Kennedy
In relation to paid family leave after a stillbirth
The above-referenced legislation would amend the Worker’s Compensation Law to provide for paid family leave for employees recovering following the birth of a stillborn child. The New York State Catholic Conference supports this bill and urges its enactment into law.
Mothers and fathers who lose a child to stillbirth need time to heal, both physically and emotionally, and time to grieve the loss of their child, a child who was expected and already welcomed into their lives. They have suffered a devastating loss which has shattered their world; they return home from the hospital to an empty nursery and must then plan a funeral for their deceased infant.
The United States lags behind other countries such as Britain, Australia and New Zealand in providing time and compensation to families in these situations. Indeed, some countries have gone farther, and provide paid leave to families who lose a child at any point during a pregnancy. Pregnancy loss at any stage is traumatic, and we urge state lawmakers to consider paid leave for any natural miscarriage or stillbirth.
We believe S2175 would create a compassionate and sensible state policy that will help to provide some assistance and solace to families for the long-term. We urge that it be advanced.