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New York’s paid family leave doesn’t cover mothers after stillbirth

Advocates say it’s time for a change to New York State’s Paid Family Leave law.

While viewed as one of the most-progressive in the United States, there’s a large gap that’s making life even more difficult for those who have experienced tragedy at the end of pregnancy.

The existing Paid Family Leave law ignores mothers of stillborn babies.

News10NBC has reported on this issue twice in the last 30 days. They spoke with Samantha Palermo, who learned after 35 weeks of pregnancy, the baby was found to not have a heartbeat.

“Mentally it’s a battle every day,” she told News10NBC. “You have so many expectations when you’re going through something like that when you’re preparing for something to change your life in a positive way, and then all of a sudden it’s like it never happened.”

That battle gets tougher when mother’s are expected to head back to work. The existing Paid Family Leave law doesn’t cover them. And while Palermo was approved for the leave – the circumstances that presented at Week 36 of pregnancy meant she could not use it.

She was informed that because she could not produce a certificate of live birth, her paid family leave was lost.

There’s a bill in state Senate to change that. It didn’t get through the Assembly, but S9492 “Provides for paid family leave after a stillbirth.”

Details of the bill are available here.



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