CNN/HLN reporter Josh Levs sues Time Warner over discriminatory parental leave policy, seeks (GASP!) equality for Dads as Parents
See Update Below!
I’ve had the privilege to interact with Josh Levs a few times now for stories he has done for CNN and HLN covering modern, involved fatherhood. He has always been a pleasure to chat with, and one of the few media people I have met who I know really “gets it.” As a young dad himself, he’s been a huge supporter of getting dads welcomed into the conversations about parenting in the media.
Recently, Josh and his wife had their third child. In planning for the birth, he did some research into the paternity leave policy that Time Warner (CNN’s parent company) provided, and was surprised by what he found: clear discrimination against biological fathers.
The full leave policy is likely very complicated, but in a nutshell, it is this: mothers get ten (10) weeks of paid leave, while fathers only get two (2). Time Warner has, in the past, justified this discrepancy because of the recovery time needed for mothers after the trauma of childbirth, although technically recovery time is actually already covered as part of their short-term medical disability leave. However, in the case such as adoption, surrogacy, and for same sex couples, the ten week paid policy applies to any new parent, man or woman. Time Warner has, rightly, been proud of their forward looking parental policy when it comes to supporting new adoptive, surrogate, and same-sex parents. So why does this policy exclude ONLY biological fathers?
Poor kid. Now I want to take him to Chuck E. Cheese just to make up for the Geico Gecko not being real…
“Yeah? Where did you hear that?”
“It was in a commercial!”
“Oh. Listen, Tucker, here’s the thing about commercials… they–”
“I already know commercials aren’t real, Dada. Geckos don’t talk and drive cars either.”
I’ve had a lot of questions recently about the new addition to our family, ever since her subtle introduction in a post graphic a couple of weeks ago. Little did I know that people would wonder about who they were seeing, and I thought it was time to properly introduce her to the world.
We officially adopted N’elle (full birth name Cottonelle Care Routine) into our lives several weeks ago, when she was delivered smoothly via UPS, after the volunteering to give her a good home. It has been a whirlwind adventure ever since she uttered her first words: “Let’s talk about your bum!”
Have you ever experienced something that was so good, you start to feel a little trepidatious about doing it again, worried that nothing could ever live up to its performance a second time?
I have to be honest, that was my feeling as I arrived in Denver for the 18th Annual At-Home Dads Convention, put on by the National At-Home Dad Network (NAHDN). Last year was such a meaningful experience for me, I didn’t know how I could possibly expect this year to quite reach such a height.
I don’t mean to imply that I didn’t think it would be a great weekend. I am now heavily involved with the NAHDN, serving on the board of directors and overseeing their new website, and in general a big cheerleader for what they do, including their yearly convention. I have several friends who are actively involved or would be there, some of whom I would be getting to meet in person for the first time, while others I would be getting the rare opportunity to spend some time with again.
So yeah, I knew I would have a good time.
What I didn’t expect was that the weekend would surpass what had come before…
If your kids are like mine, they love building stuff. They’ll use blocks, boxes, buckets… heck, they even stack up chairs if I’m not watching. About the only thing they like more than building things up is knocking the whole thing down, like Godzilla on a rampage.
My friends at Crayola recently asked me if I’d like to give one of their new products a try with my kids, and then enter a fun video contest for my trouble (as well as getting to give something away to one of my readers. See below!). The product is the Create 2 Destroy Dino Destruction Metropolitan Mayhem set, one part of their new line of Create 2 Destroy products. And as two little boys who like destroying stuff AND dinosaurs, it fit right into my kids’ wheelhouse. How could I say no?
I’m standing on the platform at a MAX train station, on my way to the Portland airport for my flight to Denver, home of the 18th Annual At-Home Dads Convention, put on by the National At-Home Dad Network (NAHDN).
This will be my second year, and I am super excited about it. Last year I made the trip to DC for the convention, and I still stand by what I said afterwards: it was the best thing I ever did for myself as a stay-at-home dad. I learned a lot, I connected with a lot of guys, I unwound, and I got refreshed, ready to come home and be the best dad that I can be for my boys. After the convention I got further involved with the NAHDN and currently serve on the board. In addition I will be speaking on two panels this year, so that will be a lot of fun.
After I get home I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say about what went on this year.
Well, other than the things covered by the “What happens in Denver stays in Denver” rule.
That… that is a rule, right?
If you’re interested, you can follow along with the goings-on in Denver on Twitter by following the hashtag #AHDConvention.
And if you’re a fellow at-home dad and either can’t make it this year or this is the first you’ve heard of it, I hope to see you next year!
Denver, here I come!