SOHO — The mother of a 3-month-old baby who died during his first day at an unlicensed day care on Greene Street is pushing for politicians to support an improved parental leave policy.
A website, ForKarl.com, is now encouraging people to "join the rest of the world in recognizing the need for parental leave." Drop-down menus allow visitors to contact their government representatives and presidential candidates to make their opinion heard.
Under current federal legislation, the Family Medical Leave Act, women are allowed to take 12 weeks off from work on maternity leave without fear of losing their job. But the FMLA does not require businesses to pay women while they're on leave, and doesn't require any paternal time off.
Scorah tweeted about the website Wednesday morning.
Karl died in the care of Maryellen Strautmanis, who never licensed her business in 14 years of running it out of her loft at 69 Greene St.
Workers at licensed day cares are required by the city to check on sleeping infants of Karl's age every 15 minutes. Strautmanis told police she put Karl down at 11:45 p.m. and didn't check on his until 12:10 p.m.
The city medical examiner closed the investigation into Karl's death after three months, officially deeming the cause and manner of the infant's death "undetermined."
The city Department of Health had received a tip about an unlicensed day care facility at 69 Greene St. prior to Karl's death. After the boy died, investigators began looking into the actions of the DOH inspector dispatched to respond to to the tip. Their investigation into the incident is ongoing, sources said.
As a result of Karl's death, DOH created a specific unit to investigate child safety issues.