Survey Deals With Bereavement Leave When Pets Die. What Does Erie Think?
Results from a nationwide survey have been released that should be of great interest of animal lovers everywhere. The survey asked people if they believe employers should grant bereavement leave to an employee when a pet dies.
The survey was conducted by "MyPetNeedsThat.com." It’s a web site that sells pet products and gives advice for people who own pets. The survey revealed that just over a third of Americans nationwide believe employers should grant bereavement leave when an employee loses a pet.
The web site surveyed 2,000 people in all 50 states. The survey also asked people how many days the grieving employee should be given. On average, Pennsylvanians believe three days. New York and Ohio, four.
The issue is getting more and more attention as companies across the country are implementing the paid leave. In this area, the Erie County Humane Society has had the policy for three years.
"That's completely crazy to work in our industry and not give bereavement days. So, all the employees that are full-time at the Humane Society receive two bereavement days if they lose their pet”, says Nicole Bawol, Executive Director."
Bawol says part-time employees are also given the same understanding if they want to take time off to grieve the loss of a pet.
Melissa Mitton is not an employee, but a visitor to the Humane Society. She's from Canada, and wanted to look at the animals during her stay in Erie. She feels strongly about the bereavement issue.
"I don't think a lot of people would take advantage of that necessarily, but for those who might consider them as children, a lot of us are close to our pets, I do think that would be nice,’ Mitton said.
Alisha McMahon is also an animal lover. She's spent time today at McClelland Park with her dog. However, she does not think employers should have to grant time off when an employee loses a pet.
"I could see why people would want bereavement leave for the loss of a pet. I mean, a lot of times they are closer to you than most family members. But, I do feel like you have to draw the line somewhere," McMahon said.
Elizabeth Gill disagrees. She says employers would be showing empathy if they granted the leave. She talked about the issue while walking her dog on Erie’s west side.
"I think that it would take some healing to get over the loss of this dog here when she goes,” Gill said. “I think it would be a wonderful kindness that an employer could show to give a little bereavement time for pets.”