Say that you are about to become a dad, and you want nothing more than to be present for every moment of your child’s birth. And you especially want to be at home during those first few days, or weeks, after your partner has given birth. Naturally, it’s very important for you to help care for your child and your home during this challenging time.
Asking for paternity leave can be uncomfortable for some men. Your employer may provide opportunities for paternity leave, yet you may still feel uneasy asking for it.
Most of us are familiar with maternity leave requests, but what if a dad wants to take time off to help take care of his newborn child, too? More often than not, requests for paternity leave — and especially those made for maternity leave — are met with resistance. In the worst cases, they can outright be denied.
Paternity Leave In The United States
What About Requesting Maternity Leave?
There is currently no federal law requiring paid paternity leave. Under certain qualifications, a father may be entitled to a fixed amount of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a father is eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave throughout the course of a twelve month period for the purposes of caring for a newborn child.
Most states do not offer paid paternity leave, but California does offer offer six weeks of paid leave to new parents. This paid leave, however, only provides for a portion of the father’s income when the leave is taken, and will not cover the entire amount. Further, California doesn’t offer the same protections that the FMLA does.
Below are a few suggestions when requesting paternity leave:
For obvious reasons, requests for maternity leave are more common than for paternity leave, but the procedure for requesting maternity leave is more or less the same. However, maternity requests are often denied or met with retaliatory action, which is illegal.
Federal and state laws exist to protect pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace. If you are pregnant and need to request maternity leave under the FMLA, you must follow the proper procedure to fully protect your rights. As with paternity leave, you must give your employer a 30 days advance notice before taking your leave.
What if you followed the FMLA guidelines and your employer still denies you a leave?
Below is a list of three things you can do:
If you have made up your mind to take action, it is important to work with an attorney that specializes in cases like yours. The pregnancy discrimination lawyers at West Coast Employment Lawyers have extensive experience handling pregnancy discrimination cases. We will work tirelessly to gather the facts, find and interview eyewitnesses, hire experts, and fight for your rights.
We work on a contingency basis, which means we only get attorney’s fees if we are able to recover for you. Our legal team is available 24/7 and will take care of your case from start to finish. For a free no-obligation consultation with a pregnancy discrimination attorney in California, contact our office at 1-800-247-9235.
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