PITTSBURGH, PA (August 31, 2021) — Pittsburgh City Councilman Bobby Wilson (District 1) introduced legislation this week to establish fully paid bereavement leave for every City of Pittsburgh employee who experiences pregnancy loss.
If enacted, this legislation would make the City of Pittsburgh the first government in the United States of America to offer such paid leave. Other jurisdictions, including the City of Boston, are currently entertaining similar legislation. In March 2021, New Zealand’s Parliament approved legislation that would require employers to provide paid leave following pregnancy loss. Ginny Andersen, the member of Parliament who drafted that legislation, noted at the time that she could not find similar legislation anywhere else in the world.
This legislation recognizes that pregnancy loss generally occurs in the form of miscarriage, stillbirth, or termination. Pregnancy loss can also occur in the form of failed in vitro fertilization procedures or surrogacy loss. Miscarriages are especially common, occurring in about 1 out of every 5 pregnancies. In Pittsburgh, per the Gender Equity Commission’s 2019 report “Pittsburgh’s Inequality Across Gender and Race,” pregnancy loss is twice as likely among Pittsburgh’s Black women compared to its White women. Additionally, per the same report, the rate of pregnancy loss for both Black and White women in Pittsburgh is over 90 percent higher than the rate of pregnancy loss for Black and White women in similar American cities.
“It’s time the City of Pittsburgh set an example—in southwest Pennsylvania, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and across this country—as a compassionate workplace for employees who have lost a pregnancy,” said Councilman Wilson. “Such loss carries a heavy stigma because of how personal and how painful it can be. The least we can do is to provide paid leave so that our colleagues in these situations have the time and resources to grieve and heal without feeling pressured to put on a brave face and return to work. I’m asking employers in the City of Pittsburgh, especially large employers, non-profits and foundations, and quasi-governmental authorities, to join the City of Pittsburgh in offering similar leave.”
For press inquiries, please contact Councilman Wilson’s Legislative Aide, Mohammed Burny, at (412) 215-0528 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on: August 31, 2021 @ 3:23 pm