Sometimes referred to as “family leave” or “parental leave”, paternity leave is an excused absence from work to care for and bond with a new child - whether by birth, adoption, or foster. This leave can vary in duration and may be paid or unpaid.
Are employers required to offer paternity leave?
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) employees of companies with a staff of 50 or larger are guaranteed twelve workweeks of leave in a 12-month period for the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth. This leave is job-protected leave meaning the employee must return to the same (or comparable) position and same wages upon completing leave. The FMLA also requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave.
Does paternity leave need to be paid?
The FMLA does not provide for any pay during leave, and there are currently no federal paid paternity leave requirements in the United States - making it the only industrialized nation in the world that does not require paid time off for new parents.
However, 25 states have amended the FMLA further to provide for longer leave or lowering the minimum employer size to below 50. Four of these states - California, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island - require some form of paid family and medical leave. Additionally, individual cities (New York, Portland, Austin, Pittsburgh, San Francisco) are beginning to offer paid leave.
What notice must employees give for paternity leave?
Under the FMLA, leave requests must be given at least 30 days advanced notice.
Do companies offer other forms of paternity leave?
A 2015 Society for Human Resource Management survey found that less than 20% of employers offer paid paternity leave. With paid maternity leave still in a state of flux in the United States, paid paternity leave is a bit of wild card - as a result most fathers end up taking a paternity leave that is unpaid or a combination of cobbled-together vacation and sick leave.
Should our company have a paid paternity leave policy?
As with most things in the world of employment law, it is advisable to have a clear paternity leave policy and enforce it evenly. With many employees bringing claims under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers should consider adding paternity leave policies equal to or similar to maternity leave policies to avoid potential litigation.
It’s Time To Be Creative: Historically Low Unemployment Rates Fuel New Approaches To Parental Leave
In October 2018, NPR reported that the U.S. unemployment rate had dropped to 3.7 percent, the lowest rate in 50 years. In some states, like Colorado, where I live, the rate is even lower (3.1 p...
Common Pitfalls for Emerging Companies
Founders of emerging companies are often first-time employers and find themselves having to wade through the dense patchwork of state and federal labor and employment laws. This can be a confusing undertaking that often requires legal counsel. However, th...
This blog was written by Darryl McCallum at Shawe Rosenthal, author of our Maryland Human Resources Manual. You can find the original and their Labor & Employment Report blog on their website.
Employers Beware: What You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You!
Holiday stew – we all have our own recipe, but the base is almost always the same: booze, mistletoe and a generous pinch of unapproved time off. And be sure you don't have enough time to prepare or clean up.
Join Gary Wheeler and Lori Mans for an hour as they provide the ingredients and know-h...
This blog was written by Deidra Nguyen at Littler Mendelson, which authors our Model Policies and Forms for Maine Employers. You can find the original post and their Dear Littler (which is excellent) on their website.
Dear Littler: What is the Story with Employee Election Leave?
This blog was written by Robin Shea at Constangy, which authors our Model Policies and Forms for Georgia Employers and our New Jersey Human Resources Manual. You can find the original on their Employment & Labor Insider blog (which is one of our favorites and is excellent).
This blog was written by Thomas E. Reddin and Henry J. Thomas at Polsinelli. Polsinelli authors hrsimple resources in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. You can find the original blog post and their labor and employment blog Polsinelli at Work (which is excellent) on their website.
No call. No show. Assume they quit. Find a replacement. Move on.
Then who shows up but Ms. Nocall Noshow.
Depends on what happened, your policy, potential laws (ADA? FMLA?), disabilities, stuff, junk.
SHRM helps, with help from our author Fisher Phillips and long-time friend...
This blog was written by Fiona Ong at Shawe Rosenthal, author of our Maryland Human Resources Manual. You can find the original blog and their Labor & Employment Report newsletter on their website.
Time to Update Those FMLA Forms!!!
Fiona W. Ong
Finally! The new Family and Medi...
This blog was written by Jason Plowman at Polsinelli. Polsinelli authors hrsimple resources in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. You can find the original blog post and their labor and employment blog Polsinelli at Work (which is excellent) on their website.
Back to School Edition: School-...
This blog was written by Shennan Harris at Squire Patton Boggs. Shennan is a co-author of our Wages and Hours – An Employer's Guide. You can find the original blog post and their Employment Law Worldview on their website.
State Law Round-Up: New Sick Leave, Sexual Harassment Laws and Othe...
This blog was written by Kat Cunnignham, president of Moresource Inc., a member of the Missouri Chamber. You can find the original blog post on the mobile edition of Missouri Chamber's Missouri Business
Traditionally, most companies have offered a paid leave package to employees that diff...
This blog was written by Fiona Ong at Shawe Rosenthal, our author of the Maryland Human Resources Manual. You can find the original blog post here and their Labor & Employment Report newsletter (which is excellent) here.
In a previous post about pet bereavement leave, I noted that t...
This blog is an excerpt from our book An Employer's Guide to FMLA and ADA, authored by Nancy Van der Veer Holt at Ford Harrison LLP. For more state specific leave information, go to the Products tab above and subscribe to the Human Resources Manual for your state.
FMLA coverage for employers
FMLA contains "leave", as in "the employee isn't at work" but also as in "leave the employee alone or else". See what the boundaries are to avoid the "or else" from one of our authors @Ogletree Deakins.
Legally mandated family leave policies have a relatively short history in the United States, and a requirement that the leave be paid is even shorter. In 1993, Congress enacted the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) after finding that employees were having to choose between working and taking ca...