Angela & Ryan’s Family Leave Story

Categories: Advocacy

We are fighting to make sure all new parents in California have access to paid family leave. Call Governor Brown at (916) 445-2841 and urge him to sign SB 63. Can’t get through? Sign the petition here.

Thanks to the California Work and Family Coalition, Legal Aid at Work, and Ree Ree Li for connecting us with Angela and Ryan and recording this story.

Angela and Ryan’s Family Leave Story

Angela is an attorney at the Childcare Law Center, a nonprofit of less than 10 people.

Taking the leave was necessary. I couldn’t imagine having a baby and not having that initial bonding time with breastfeeding and getting to know my little baby. In those 1st few weeks, you learn what each cry means. I don’t know how I would be able to focus on work or anything else, except for bonding with my baby to make sure he felt loved and cared for.

I was fortunate enough to have a job that despite not being legally required to give me job protected leave, they still have a policy that allows for mothers and fathers to take time off to bond with babies. I was not in fear of losing my job and had peace of mind while taking leave to bond with my new baby and develop our early attachments.

Financially living in California and Bay Area, I wouldn’t be able to afford to take time off if it wasn’t for paid family leave and job-protected. It allowed me to make it possible. I got to have that time to get to know my baby and my baby get to know me.

There’s definitely a learning curve, babies are learning what to expect from caregivers and parents are learning what baby needs and it can’t be read or told by someone else. You just have to experience it yourself.

What does SB 63 mean to you?
Equality, because it allows more parents and children job-protected time to bond and form developmentally necessary attachments with one another. And fairness, since everyone pays into the Paid Family Leave program but not everyone right now can use it.

What would you say to our governor about this bill?
I would say that this bill is a necessary component of the paid family leave program and that I was fortunate enough to work for an organization that allows for parents to take time off without fear of losing their jobs. It’s an issue of equality that all parents and children should have the right to bond with each other without fear of losing their job.

Ryan is an investment analyst for the Retirement Unit of Alameda County.

What would you say to our governor about this bill?
I would tell him that spending time bonding with a newborn is important to building a strong family. In order to feel confident in taking the needed leave time, the two main worries are how to pay the bills? and will my job be there for me when I return? Luckily California Paid Family Leave offers assistance for paying the bills, but many individuals who work at smaller companies do not get the job security part, limiting their ability to take child bonding leave.

What does this bill mean to you?
This bill is important to me because there are a lot of new mothers and fathers out there who are not able to take time off to be with their new loved ones because their jobs would not be protected. I was lucky enough to work in a large enough organization to be covered by job protection laws, but many others are not as fortunate.

We are so grateful to Angela and Ryan for sharing their story, on behalf of their family and millions of others across the state whose families are stronger thanks to paid family leave. Call Governor Brown now and ask him to support families like Angela and Ryan’s by signing SB 63. (916) 445-2841.