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  • Pacific Island Times News Staff

Death in the family? Senator Regine Biscoe Lee introduces bill to protect jobs through bereavement l

Guam Senator Régine Biscoe Lee has introduced Bill 117-34 (COR) to allow for bereavement leave following the death of a family member by expanding the Guam Family and Medical Leave Act for qualifying employees.

The bipartisan bill is co-sponsored by Vice Speaker Therese M. Terlaje and Sens. Telena Cruz Nelson, Thomas C. Ada, Mary Camacho Torres, Louise B. Muña and William M. Castro.

Under current local and federal law, employees are not explicitly allowed bereavement leave, although other types of leave are protected. Lee’s bill would allow workers covered under the Guam Family and Medical Leave Act two weeks of family leave upon the death of a family member, not to exceed 12 weeks total leave. Currently, employees have job-protected leave for the birth of a child, or to care for a sick family member, but no leave to accommodate the death of a child or family member.

“Not only are those who have lost family deeply traumatized and in grief, but they must also deal with a number of logistical burdens – including funeral arrangements, accommodations for family, hospital bills or off-island travel for those who passed away abroad,” Senator Biscoe Lee said. “Worrying about whether or not they will have a job should not be added to the distress of grieving parents, siblings, spouses and children.”

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