New York bereavement bill ‘another nail in the coffin’

How much time should employees be given for bereavement leave?

Former New York Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey on a new bill passed in New York that allows employees to have up to three months paid bereavement leave and pharmaceutical company Amgen freezing drug prices.

If New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs into law a bill that would give employees three-months paid bereavement leave to mourn the loss of loved ones, it will be another nail in the Empire State’s coffin, a former lieutenant governor warned.

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“There’s a reason they call it the bereavement bill,” Betsy McCaughey said on Tuesday during an interview with FOX Business’ Stuart Varney. “And it’s because it’s another nail in the coffin of New York’s economy.”

The New York state legislature has already approved the bereavement bill, which will cover the death of a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or in-law. It authorizes paid family leave for bereavement beginning in 2020, if signed into law.

Sen. Richard Funke, a Republican, sponsored the bill, which he says was inspired by the unexpected death of his 30-year-old son in 2001.

“I’ve experienced the pain of losing a child. The grief can be unpredictable and overwhelming,” Funke said in a statement to CBS. “No employee should have to fear losing their job in order to take the time they need to mourn.”

But McCaughey ripped Funke, and the legislature, for passing a bill that she said would be endemic to the state’s already wobbly economy. Although New York is one of the country’s largest economies, U.S. News and World Reports only ranks it as the 35th strongest economy in the country, based on growth, employment and business environment.

“Look what’s happening in New York,” McCaughey said. “They’re putting into effect a $15 minimum wage in the New York area. They just put into effect $12 required pay leave when anyone in your family is sick. New York already has such a huge tax burden, it’s ranked dead last or near dead last in economic outlook. And now, on top of all of that, they’re piling on with another burden.”

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