Page 15 - 2016 Spring-Summer Issue
P. 15

deal with their loss. That is what motivates us, inspires us     train and invest in a worker for several years. That worker

and gives us purpose.                                            loses a child. He or she is forced to return to work after

Under current law, workers get 12 weeks of unpaid leave          a few days. The grieving parent suffers, his or her work
to have or adopt a child, care for a sick family member or       suffers, productivity goes down, the business stalls, the
your own illness or care for an injured service member.          person cannot perform and is fired and bottom line: tens of
But when you lose a child, you get the customary 3-5             thousands of dollars are tossed out the window. Real dollars.
days of bereavement leave and are forced to return to the        Not to mention the cost of hiring and retraining…well, you
workplace, still broken, still grieving. Work is the last thing  get the picture.

on your mind. You just need time. Time to figure out what Dickens said: “It was the best of times, the worst of times,”

has happened to you                                                     and that’s what some

and your family. Time to     We know this because, like all of you, we  people are telling us
allow you to stand back                                                 about 2016, an election

up after a devastating       too have lost children. In the years since, year. Is it the best time,
blow. We are not saying                                                 or the worst time, to
the 12 weeks is enough       while we can never make sense of this      get legislation passed.

time to fully grieve, but    tragedy, we seek solutions to help others  Theories abound but
we do believe it provides                deal with their loss.          we like how things are
time for the dust to settle                                             lining up for us.

a little and the long hard                                                                                 Time passes, people
healing process to begin.                                        get married, they have kids. There’s a story about former

Unfortunately, thousands have been fired from their jobs         President Lyndon Johnson that when he wanted to call

for needing time. In 1993, this bereavement leave was not on senators and representatives to pass a civil rights bill,

included. We believe it was an oversight, one that can and most of his staff counseled him against it. They said it was

should be fixed.                                                 hopeless; that it would anger powerful Southern Democrats

Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Christians, Jews,          and committee chairmen; that it risked derailing the rest of
Muslims, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans,           his agenda. To which, it is said, President Johnson replied,
rich, poor all lose children. Death doesn’t look at the          “Well, what the hell’s the presidency for?”

demographics or the voter registration roles. Death does its I guess that’s our question to Congress. What the hell’s

‘job’ without any bias. Death just is.                           serving in office for, if not to fight for causes you believe in?

So this begs the question: why is our effort not receiving       Thousands of Americans families are asking the same.

greater support? Some say it hurts businesses or introduces Erica’s father (1982-2001) is a veteran public relations executive, having

more federal regulations. We understand that if you have         served as a senior executive at MTV Networks, USA Network and Prodigy
not personally had to bury a child, you cannot possibly          Internet. He formed his own global PR agency in 1998 and in 2015,
comprehend the depth of this pain. Most people cannot            created a new advertising/creative firm, Kluger/Shipp here in Scottsdale. A
                                                                 passionate writer, he has penned over 200 columns for Gannett’s Arizona

even allow themselves to think about such a possibility with     Republic and is a regular writer for Huffington Post and CityBrand Media.
their living children. This is about more than regulations       He and fellow grieving dad Kelly Farley began the Farley-Kluger Initiative
and impacts to business, it’s about compassion for those that    in 2011, which has resulted in The Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act,
                                                                 currently being considered in Congress. He lives in Scottsdale with his wife,

have had to endure the reality of such a loss.                   Special Needs Attorney Hope Kirsch and their two Cockapoos, Farfel and
So, let’s remove compassion and look at the numbers.             Schmaltzie.

FMLA-regulated business of 50 or more employees hire,

                                                                        We Need Not Walk Alone|1 5
   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20