Paternity Leave For Men

Helpful Information About Paternity Leave For Men

Paternity leave for men is the time that a father is allowed to take off work after either an adoption or the birth of a child.  A few companies offer a varied amount of time off from a couple of days to a few months, unfortunately they are typically without pay.  New fathers that don't work somewhere that this is offered generally need to use their sick days or paid vacation if they have the time available.

Are You Eligible?

So, how do you know if you are even eligible for paternity leave for men?  Ask the human resource department at your place of employment.  Most companies are now offering up to 12 weeks of leave, if you can afford to be without a paycheck that long.

When you come back from your leave, your employer is obligated to give you your same position, seniority, working conditions, salary and benefits.  You are eligible for paternity leave for men if:

Exception To Eligibility

Even if you meet the above criteria, you may be denied paternity leave for men for the following reasons:

Will It Hurt Your Job?

Your employer cannot legally discriminate against you for taking leave.  Unfortunately, this remains one of the most common concerns, especially since you cannot predict how the leave will ultimately affect your job.  It is often helpful to find out if other men in your company have taken this and find out how it affected their job.  Of course, if you are the first one, you may make it easier for those after you, which is always appreciated.

Putting In Your Request

According to federal guidelines, you have to request paternity leave for men at least 30 days prior to taking it.  However, the more notice you give, the better.  Offer your boss solutions to try to handle things smoothly while you're gone.  Perhaps you could be available for a weekly conference call if needed?  It is always a good idea to get approval early; you can always back out if you change your mind.

Denied Request

If you are positive that you qualify and you have requested in the allocated amount of time and you are still denied leave, you will want to sit down with your employer and make sure they are aware of these laws.  The Department of Labor has fact sheets available that you can provide your employer.  Be polite and reasonable, your employer may not be aware of the laws.  You don't want to get into a heated battle if it isn't necessary.

If being reasonable doesn't work, you can fill a complaint with the Labor Department.  If the problem remains, the Labor Department will generally investigate your personal case and they may decide to sue your employer for you.

Don't Qualify?

What happens if you don't qualify to take paternity leave for men?  You may want to simply ask your boss for a leave of absence.  Most employers are reasonable and are willing to negotiate some type of arrangement if they are given enough notice.

The earlier you show that you are hard working and worthy of some time off, the better chance you'll have when you start bargaining.  If you still aren't able to arrange time off, research your state laws and see if you qualify for any personal leave.

You may want to ask if you can work overtime and exchange it for time off after the baby is born.  Depending on your occupation, you may be able to pick up days for other employees to have extra days off and then they can return the favor for you when you need it.