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Bill would guarantee paid leave for parents who suffer miscarriage or stillbirth

Jan 17, 2022, 11:20 AM

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Patient in hospital gown comforted by doctor. Photo: Canva

SALT LAKE CITY — If a law passes the upcoming legislative session, some expecting parents would be guaranteed leave time after a miscarriage or stillbirth. 

Utah’s bereavement leave law currently gives employees time off if an immediate family member dies. It does not include pregnancy loss.

Utah Code 477-7-9 lays out the state’s bereavement leave law as it stands. 

Management may grant a maximum of three work days of bereavement leave per occurrence with pay following the death of a member of the employee’s immediate family. Management may not charge bereavement leave against an employee’s accrued sick or annual leave.

The code defines “immediate family” as an employee’s spouse, parents, siblings, children, any level of grandparents, or any level of grandchildren. The law also considers the same family categories of an employee’s spouse in their “immediate family.”

New bill would offer leave for miscarriage, stillbirth

State Sen. Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, proposed a bill that would add pregnancy loss through miscarriage or still birth to the categories that qualify for bereavement leave.

The bill comes up for consideration in Utah’s 2022 legislative session beginning on Tuesday. It would give city, county, and state employees paid time off after a miscarriage or stillbirth.

The leave time granted for a miscarriage or stillbirth wouldn’t subtract from their sick days. It would be a part of bereavement leave and apply to both expecting parents. 

It’s extremely rare in the United States to get paid time off after a pregnancy loss. KSL TV’s Kiersten Nunez spoke to a Utah woman who resorted to using some of her sick days after she suffered a miscarriage.

Check out the story from KSL TV here

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Bill would guarantee paid leave for parents who suffer miscarriage or stillbirth