(WSYR-TV) — As Father’s Day approaches, Governor Hochul announced today that a record number of New York workers used the paid family leave program to spend time with their children or care for an ill family member in the year 2021. After looking at data over the past four years, the rate in which men take paternity leave has increased every year since the program took action. Particularly, the use of paid family leave hits highest with low-and moderate-wage workers.

“No one should have to choose between caring for a loved one and a paycheck, and today’s findings demonstrate how critical paid family leave is, especially for working-class New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “This Father’s Day, I am especially heartened to see that men have so enthusiastically taken advantage of this benefit to care for and bond with their children and that more of them are using paid family leave every year.”

Since New York put this program into effect, over 543,000 family leave claims have been paid in the first four years. The record high number of claims was 146,708 in 2021.