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Grief works around the clock. Employees shouldn't have to.

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15.09.2021

Eight unopened jars of olives sit on my kitchen shelf. They stare at me every morning as I settle in to work at my home office (my kitchen table), reminding me that my father didn’t live to finish his pandemic stockpile. After oatmeal, before work, I make time to cry.

Even with some employers postponing fall office returns over delta variant concerns, perhaps millions of American workers will carry complex grief to their in-person and remote workplaces. My grief has slid from the unfinished business of the pandemic to my father’s recent death from cancer. Like those untouched olives, I’ve barely digested my accumulated losses.

Companies remain woefully unprepared to support workers mourning everything from our pre-pandemic way of life to lost wages, homes, relatives, friends and colleagues. Despite grief’s associated health risks – including disturbed sleep and elevated cortisol, blood pressure and heart rate, weakened immune response and increased mortality, the United States has no mandated employee bereavement leave.

Afghan journalist:Taliban fighters tortured my journalist colleagues. They risk their lives to tell the truth.

The three days of paid bereavement leave in President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda would provide all workers with an overdue minimum standard. But increasing bereavement time closer to Facebook’s 10-20 days of paid leave, far beyond the........

© USA TODAY


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