Paternity leave: Is there discrimination?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2021 | Employment Law, Paternity Leave |

Residents of Beverly Hills and other areas of California may want to learn more about whether there is discrimination for new parents wanting to spend time with a brand-new child. When it comes to time off from work, fathers and other non-birth partners traditionally have not had the same treatment as mothers. Paternity leave is usually allowed less time than foster or adoption leave and maternity leave. Things are getting better, but there is always room for improvement.

What is paternity leave?

This is the time a father takes off from work after the adoption or birth of a child. The federal Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave following a birth or adoption. However, paid time off is the determination of the employer.

Only one in five employers offers any paid paternity leave according to the Families and Work Institute. It was also reported that only 17% of workers in the U.S. have any paid parental leave. A smaller employer may offer four to six weeks while larger companies may offer more. Six weeks is about average.

Federal and state family leave laws

The FMLA assures that companies with 50 or more employees are eligible for 12 weeks of job-protected leave per year. Jobs must be available when the employee returns to work; an employer can’t fire you for taking parental leave. Employment law also ensures that you get to keep all benefits while you’re out, including any employer-provided health insurance.

Paternity leave will grow

To retain and attract top employees, more firms are now offering generous packages as a form of paternity leave. The names “paid parental leave” or “paid family leave” are common terms for this type of time off.

If you have questions or concerns regarding discrimination under FMLA or you have other employment-related issues, it may be smart to contact an attorney with experience in this type of law. An attorney may help uphold your important labor rights.