New York is about to become the fourth state to provide paid family and medical leave. And like the plans enacted in California, New Jersey and Rhode Island, this benefit is funded through a small payroll deduction into a state-wide insurance fund. As an advocate for working parents and a business school professor who works closely with employers, I am excited by this news.
God, I hate doing my taxes. But as I was compiling my receipts, 1099s and I040s, I saw something interesting on my Fairleigh Dickinson University W2 form. It was a listing of the amount deducted from my paychecks last year as part of New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance program. It was all of $28.
New Jersey is one of three states (New York may be next!) to provide paid family and medical leave. And like California and Rhode Island, this benefit is funded through a small payroll deduction into a state-wide insurance fund. Simply put, everyone pays in a small amount, and then, when one needs a family-related (most commonly a maternity or paternity leave) or medical leave (care for self or for a family member), they can draw from this insurance fund for wage replacement of two-thirds of one’s income, up to $604 per week, during the 6-week leave.
200 business professors support paid family leave and have petitioned Congress. Here’s why.
Business school professors are situated at a very interesting crossroads.
On one hand, we are very well connected to the business community. Most of us interact with executives and managers on an ongoing basis. We keep up with industry best practices. Many consult with leading firms. We write for practitioner outlets and trade magazines. We provide executive training and education to those near the top of organizational charts, as well as MBA classes to those on the first few rungs of the ladder. In many ways, and through many means, we are very plugged into the concerns of the business community.
The EEOC issued its new guidance on parental leave today. In it, they lay the basis for parity between company-offered maternity and paternity leave. In short, companies that offer mothers “time for care and bonding” beyond time for physical recovery/disability must also offer that “time for care” to fathers. This decision brings needed clarity to the emerging set of case law on paternity leave (see here, here and here) and is yet another indicator of the recognition of the importance of fatherhood and paternity leave.
This guidance is part of a larger and much more comprehensive document concerning pregnancy discrimination, disability and related employment concerns. You can read the entire document here. I’ve copied the relevant information below. After that is my analysis.
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.
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.
.@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 FAMILY act would create a national policy of paid parental leave. Why I think this is a great idea.
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)