The birth of their child is often one of the most important moments in an individual’s life, regardless of whether they are becoming a mother or a father. The soon to become parents avidly and keenly look forward to the moment they can welcome their bundle of joy into the world as well as to the time they will spend immediately after the birth to bond with the new addition to the family.
For many people, however, especially fathers, the opportunity to do the latter never arrives as they are unable to get any form of leave or pardon from their jobs or work so that they can cater to their families or spend time with them.
The issue of paternity leave is a very prominent one in the United States- one that needs to be addressed immediately as it is taking away from the precious time that could be spent developing a special relationship with one of the most important people in the father’s life.
Apart from a few cities and states who have their own policies, there are no overarching rules or regulations that allow new fathers to take paternity leaves, let alone paid ones, at the event of the birth of their child.
What Is New Paternity Leave 2020?
Paternity leave is the leave or the days off taken for and after the birth of the individual’s child in order to help their partner as well as be a present parent in order to bond with and form a relationship with the child.
This paternity leave is extremely important as it helps develop better parents who can cater more to their child’s early needs. This time can be important in getting used to becoming parents and developing a routine that does not disturb either of the parents or the child. These leaves are also applicable for when a couple adopts a child.
What Laws Apply To New Paternity Leave 2020?
The FMLA, or the Family and Medical Leave Act can be used in order to take days off as paternity leave. The leave will, however, be unpaid. Some states do have specific laws when it comes to paternity leaves which have been mentioned below.
They allow the employees to take paid paternity leaves. At the end of it all, it all depends on your employer whether or not you are given paid or unpaid paternity leave.
What Paternity Leave Rights Do Fathers Have?
The individual has the right to demand up to 12 hours of unpaid paternity leave under the FMLA provided they qualify for it. In order to qualify for this leave, the employee must have worked over 1240 hours in the past 12 months and their employing company must employ 50 or more employees.
During this while, their job is not under any threat of loss as they are within their rights to demand this period of leave since they are qualified.
What States Offer New Paternity Leave 2020?
Only five states- namely, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Washington, and California- have made it mandatory for employers to give paid paternity leave to their employers who are experiencing the birth of their child.
No other state mandates paid paternity leaves which is why it all depends on the employers, whether or not the organization offers any form of paternity leave. All states do, however, come under the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) which offers unpaid leave for new mothers and fathers.
California was the first state to pass the law for paid paternity leave for new fathers, putting the legislation into place in 2004. Employees can collect up to 55 per cent of their earnings while on leave. It has gone up in 2018 to up to 60 to 70 per cent.
=> You may like to read: 10 Things About Paid Maternity Leave in the US (Guide & How to Deal)
New Jersey has allowed to 6 weeks of paid leave for a newborn baby or a newly adopted child since 2009. Employees can receive two-thirds of their earnings during this time. Rhode Island and the District of Columbia also offer some weeks off as paid paternity leave. Rhode Island gives four weeks of wage replacement to up to 60 per cent of the employee’s earnings.
New York offers up to 8 weeks of paid leave for parents after birth, giving employees 50 per cent or more of their wages. Washington DC goes even further, giving up to 90 per cent of the earnings to their employers depending on their usual income.
When And How Can I Request For New Paternity Leave 2020?
In order to request for a paternity leave, you need to to get in touch with your manager or employer directly. The best way to know more about your rights as an employee looking for paternity leave is to talk to your employer or visit the employee handbook and go through the rules and regulations.
If your state doesn’t have any specific laws that make it mandatory for employers to give their employees paid paternity leave, your employer can choose to employ rules accordingly to his or her will.