Jason Butkowski is a father of young twins who were born at 28 weeks old. After his wife took paid family leave to care for their children who were hospitalized for 69 days in the Neonatal Intesive Care Unit, and after he took all of his vacation and sick time, Jason took paid family leave to care for the twins after his wife's leave was up. He is grateful for the opportunity to be there for his twins and says he has learned so much and he even has inside jokes with them. Jason explains how the NJ paid family leave gave him and his wife a peace of mind knowning that one of them could be there to care for their children without losing a paycheck.
James Musson, father of five, including twins born in Sept. 2008, prior to availability of New Jersey's Family Leave Insurance (FLI) benefits. Since FLI allows for bonding leave to be taken during the 12 months immediately following birth of child, James was able to take six weeks in 1 week increments in June 2009 through August 2009, immediately after FLI benefits became available. "This worked well for the family and me because I was able to get used to getting up in the night for feedings, and I was able to not fall behind at work too much. "I never had the opportunity to take any time off with the first three. I think I had 1-2 days off after each of their births. As a father, you are looked at as a 'spare part', and not really given any chance to get used to a new family. Fathers are still expected to work while dealing with sleepless nights, feedings, etc. Having family leave with the twins made me appreciate mothers more, made me spend more time with the babies than I ever was able to before and be more relaxed having this quality time with them."
Lauren was able to take paid family leave after giving birth to her second son in January 2011. By taking advantage of New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance program, Lauren was able to take a substantial amount of time off from work and bond with her newborn as well as her other son. It is not financially possible for Lauren’s family to rely on a single income. Having access to family leave insurance eased the burden on Lauren’s family so that she was able to bond with her new baby without having to worry about losing income or her employment. “I was able to stay at home and not have to worry about the financial impact of staying home without pay. So for me, paid family leave is really important and I think it’s something that all parents should be aware of, so that they can bond with their child for as long as possible.”
In 2008, Tahearra’s mother, Permilia, found out that she was ill and needed to have surgery. Initially, Tahearra had decided to take an unpaid leave through her employer to care for her mother after surgery. The following year, Tahearra needed to take leave again to return to caring for her mother and was informed that New Jersey's Family Leave Insurance had gone into effect. After applying and completing the paperwork, Tahearra was able to use family leave insurance to stay home with her mother while she recovered. She was able to have her job protected but still take the time to care. “It just eased my mind and it was less stressful with taking care of her and jumping up and going to work and still having to take care of my family. It made it a lot easier, stress free basically.” Permilia also noted that, “having someone who cares about you taking care of you, it makes all the difference in the world. I think it helped me recover faster.”
Dena was able to use family leave insurance to remain home and bond with her newborn child. Dena chose to supplement her existing time off from her employer by using family leave insurance. Dena is very grateful that she learned about New Jersey's family leave insurance program and was able to bond with her baby for longer than she had previously expected. She hopes that others can learn about this great program and make use of the benefit. "That was the best thing that ever happened. I got to be home with my baby 3 for months. It was great."
While working as a Nursing Assistant, Khadijah learned of New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance program. Khadijah was able to take the time off from work to bond and breastfeed her newborn son. FLI allowed Khadijah to provide her baby with the care she desired within the comfort of her home, an entitlement that she did not have with her first child. Khadijah was grateful to have the opportunity to use FLI and spend time with her new baby.
Dr. Herb Greenberg founded Caliper Corporation 50 years ago. With over 200 employees internationally, Caliper maintains strong values to work-life balance and its family leave program. At least a dozen of Caliper’s employees have taken advantage of the company’s family leave program, which has not only boosted morale, but has shown to have significant cost savings. By providing employees with a method of work-life balance and a family leave option, employees are more likely to return to work at the end of their leave. The impact on retention has been extremely important to Caliper in holding on to its valued employees rather than seeking replacements and paying for the cost of re-training.
Roxanne first used NJ’s family leave insurance in 2011 after giving birth to her first child. In addition to short-term disability, Roxanne was able to take advantage of paid family leave and take an additional six weeks off of work to bond with her baby. Having this extra time was extremely meaningful to Roxanne to be able to spend time with her newborn. After the birth of her second child, Roxanne use family leave insurance again. Roxanne and her family value the financial security that comes with paid benefits during time off. Roxanne believes that all new parents should take advantage of this program.