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Paternity Leave Lawyers

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What is Paternity Leave?

Paternity leave is the limited time a father takes off work when a child is born or adopted. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows for fathers to have this kind of time off for paternity leave. While some states do not require time off to be paid, California in 2004 became the first state to offer paid family leave. Massachusetts also requires paid paternity leave for some employers. Plus, some "family friendly" employers provide paid time off for paternity leave, or allow employees to use accumulated vacation leave or sick leave for this purpose.

What Does the FMLA Provide for Fathers?

Under the FMLA, employers are required by federal law to allow their employees (both men and women) 12 weeks of unpaid family leave after the birth or adoption of a child. At the end of the leave, the employer must allow the employee to return to work or a similar job with the same salary, benefits, working conditions, and seniority. 

However, the FMLA does not require employers to continue accruing benefits or time to items when an employee is out on leave like:

Should I Consult a Lawyer if My Employer Punishes Me for Taking Paternity Leave?

First, you should check out your potential employer's paternity leave policy. After making sure that you qualify under the FMLA or your state's provisions, make sure you've given the required notice. In the event that you believe that you are being discriminated against for taking paternity leave, an employment lawyer can help determine how the FMLA and other state family leave laws apply to you and what remedies you are entitled to.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 11-17-2015 05:02 PM PST

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