PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland City Hall is taking a note from New Zealand’s government to help city employees after pregnancy loss.
Last month, the Portland City Council passed an ordinance to allow employees paid bereavement leave due to pregnancy loss, including miscarriage, stillbirth or other loss.
Michelle Rodríguez, a senior policy advisor for Portland Commissioner Mingus Mapps, said this would also cover termination of pregnancy, such as abortion. Employees do not have to disclose the specific form of pregnancy loss.
“We realize that right now, there’s a bit of a stigma talking around pregnancy loss for folks who go through that process,” said Rodríguez. “Your managers or supervisors or folks around you can actually help destigmatize this by having conversations and supporting you in what could be a grave change to your entire life.”
Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps said his office was inspired by New Zealand’s law allowing for similar time off due to pregnancy loss. Pittsburgh has also implemented a comparable policy ahead of Portland.
“I hope that it helps public servants heal as they work through the loss of a child and second thing, I really hope is that other jurisdictions across America – and really across the world – will adopt similar policies,” said Mapps.
He added that feedback from employees so far has been positive to the new policy and his staff is “always looking at ways to be a better employer and make Portland a better city.”