Calling All New Dads

Becoming a parent is an exciting time. When your child is born, you want to spend as much time with him or her as possible. But though maternity leave is commonly spoken about, how does it apply to the father? Enter paternity leave.

Paternity leave is the time period when a father stops working to spend time with a new child who has been born or adopted. This is also referred to as parental or family leave, as it can apply to mothers, fathers or domestic partners. Some companies have official paternity leave policies, while others don’t. Typically in the U.S., new fathers do not receive paid paternity leave.

Though most fathers don’t receive paid leave, federal law does protect the jobs of new parents. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) projects a job for up to 12 weeks after a birth or adoption, meaning a new father is entitled to return to their position after an absence without penalty, either through pay or position. However, this doesn’t guarantee a paid leave, just that the position won’t be lost. FMLA also doesn’t apply to everyone – employees must qualify. Click here to learn about the Department of Labor’s requirements for FMLA.

Your options also depend on where you live. 25 states have either provided longer leave (up to 16 weeks), lowered the requirements for qualification, or required private employers to pay for parental leave. Additionally, some companies voluntarily cover it as part of their benefits. Check with your employer to find out your options.

Content by Lockton Dunning Benefits with info from: