'My friends do not receive anything close to this'

Paternity Leave Makes World of Difference For Director Welcoming New Daughter

Twelve weeks ago, Vince Slomsky left Kent State for one of the ultimate joys of his life -- the birth of his second child. 

At 7 pounds, 1 ounce, and full of giggles, Madelyn Mae fit perfectly in a loving home with her mom, Laura, her big brother, Calvin, and her proud dad Vince, who spent every minute he could with her during these precious weeks for their family.

Vince Slomsky and his daughter Madelyn

Now Slomsky, director of strategic communications in Kent State's Division of Enrollment Management, is returning to campus with a new appreciation for the support his family received with paternity leave.

"I recognize how fortunate we are at Kent State to get 12 weeks off as fathers as so many of my friends do not receive anything close to this."

Slomsky highlighted the value of his paternity leave in a post on Linkedin and said he believes the time with family will pay dividends for many years to come.

"I’m coming back fully energized and ready to go. Plus, I’m mentally prepared knowing that my family is taken care of. Thank you, Kent State University for allowing me to put my family first."

Family Leave Benefits 

The university's family leave policy applies to employees in non-bargaining units and provides six weeks of paid leave for new parents and the ability to use an additional six weeks of sick/vacation time or time donated by other employees.

According to the policy, to be eligible for paid parental leave, an employee must have become a new parent as a birth mother, birth father, adoptive parent, foster care parent with legal custody or guardianship, or domestic partner. There is no limit placed on the age of a newly adopted or foster care child for purposes of eligibility.

"It is important to foster an inclusive and welcoming work culture," said Tiffany Murray, interim vice president for Kent State University's Division of Human Resources. "Every single employee at Kent State matters and contributes to the overall success of the university.  Offering comprehensive benefits, supportive services, wellness programming, and flexible work arrangements helps to create a work-life balance and sense of belonging that supports our diverse community."

According to CBS News, only 5% of fathers take even two weeks of paternity leave and many fathers don't use their benefits even when offered.

Vince and Laura Slomsky and their children Calvin and Madelyn

"I’ve formed a special bond with our newborn, Madelyn, while watching our two-year-old, Calvin, thrive as a big brother. I’ve been there with my wife, every step of the way. No one should have to do this alone."

The guidelines in the university policy are fairly straightforward but do allow for some flexibility.

For example, paid parental leave should generally commence following the birth, adoption or foster care placement, but in some instances may occur prior to the event when deemed medically necessary or when needed to fulfill the legal requirements for an adoption or foster placement, provided all eligibility requirements are met.

"I am fortunate to have the ability to take a paternity leave," Slomsky said. "I know so many other dads who aren’t given this opportunity and that’s a shame. Quite frankly, it needs to change."

Support for employees is just one factor that led to Kent State being named a Great College to Work For for the 11th time. 

For more information on the benefits of being an employee with Kent State, visit Human Resources Benefits.


POSTED: Tuesday, November 22, 2022 11:15 AM
Updated: Monday, January 30, 2023 04:05 PM
Eric Mansfield