Paternity Leave for All Dads! Join Me and Support the FAMILY Act

This Father’s Day, let’s call upon Congress to give dads and their families a truly meaningful present- paid parental leave. Please join me in signing a petition asking our elected representatives to pass the FAMILY Act.

We all deserve paternity leave- time to bond and develop as parents. Please support the FAMILY Act
We all deserve paternity leave- time to bond and develop as parents. Please support the FAMILY Act

I didn’t exactly take a paternity leave. I’m a college professor and my son, Nick, was born three days after my Spring semester ended. Perfect timing (although we didn’t actually plan it that way). I was able to spend the summer on a “de-facto paternity leave” with my wife, Amy, and Nick as we all got to learn how this whole “baby makes three” thing would shake out.

I was able to forge an immediate bond with my son, gain confidence as a new parent, strengthen my relationship with my wife, and emerge from the experience as a fully involved co-parent to Nick and equal parenting partner with Amy. In short, my paternity leave fundamentally shaped me as a person, parent, and spouse, and I believe it contributed to the strength and resiliency of my family.

That’s why I support the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would enable new parents – including dads – to take 12 weeks of partially paid time away from work after the birth or adoption of a child. That’s why I’m working with CLASP and other advocacy and fatherhood organizations to help bring about this change. Today, I’m inviting you to join me in supporting this important bill by signing a petition.

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Reflections on the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families: Recognizing the Importance of Supporting Fathers

Last week, I was a featured panelist at the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families. It was an amazing day filled with star power, inspiring speeches and a refreshing emphasis on the importance of supporting fatherhood. Here are some of my reflections on the day.

My panel at the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families
My panel at the NYC Regional White House Summit on Working Families

The concerns of fathers are sometimes under-represented in conversations about work and family. However, despite the fact that the Summit was organized by the Women’s Bureau of the US Department of Labor, I was very encouraged to see this was not the case- the concerns of fathers was front and center. Here are a few indicators:

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The NYC White House Summit on Working Families- A Photo Gallery

On May 12th, I was proud to serve as a featured panelist at the NYC Regional event as part of the US Department of Labor/White House Summit on Working Families. It was a great event, featuring Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, four … Read more

Twitter Love for FWF From Senator Gillibrand!

.@ScottBehson is absolutely right — "The Time Is Right for the #FAMILYAct": http://t.co/OueRkcNwfs #PaidFMLA — Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 21, 2014 Two weeks ago, I wrote a post explaining why I thought the FAMILY Act, which would create a national paid parental leave program, is a great idea. The piece was later republished at Huffington … Read more

The Time is Right For the FAMILY Act- Paid Parental Leave

The FAMILY act would create a national policy of paid parental leave. Why I think this is a great idea.

I was extremely fortunate to spend the first few months of Nick's life at home. I hope that more dads become able to take paternity leave to have similar experiences
I was extremely fortunate to spend the first few months of Nick’s life at home. I hope that more dads become able to take paternity leave to have similar experiences

When I was on NPR last week (you can listen here) to discuss paternity leave, we took lots of great phone calls from listeners. Most callers lamented their lack of available paternity leave.

One caller, however, had lived in Montreal, where new dads are entitled to up to 5 weeks of paid leave, with wage replacement up to 70% of one’s earnings. It is no wonder that more than 80 percent of new dads in Quebec take paternity leave. (for more on the benefits of paternity leave, see here)

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