Paternity Leave – Evaluating Options for New Dads

We have all heard about maternity leave before, but how about paternity leave? This refers to the time that the father takes off after the birth of his child.

The disadvantage is that the leave is paid in very few cases. It could range between a few days and weeks, according to the employer.

Information about men’s paternity leave

California was the first state that offered paid family leave. In case you are working in this state, you could take a leave of maximum six weeks with partial pay to take care of the baby. New Jersey and Washington also passed bills of this kind and there are some other states too that are considering them.

Paternity LeaveHow to know whether you can have paternity leave for men?

In order to know whether you are entitled or not, you should talk to the human resources department of your company.

When you return from your leave, you should get your old job back or a similar one with the same salary, working conditions, benefits and seniority.

You can have paternity leave if you are working for the federal, local or state government or for a company that has over 50 employees working within 75 miles of the company and if you worked for at least 12 months of the company or you worked for 1250 hours.

There are also some exceptions when it comes to men’s paternity leave. The employer can deny the leave if you are among the 10% of employees with the highest wage or if your absence would cause serious financial loss to the company. In this case, the company doesn’t have to keep the job open.

There is another exception regarding paternity leave for men: if both you and your partner are working at the same company. In this case only one of you can have the leave, but for 12 weeks. Even if you can’t have a leave according to the law, the state’s provisions or the company policy could make this possible for you.

The company that offers you the paid paternity leave can ask this to count among the 12 weeks allowed by the law.

Some of the states let employees take all 12 weeks in addition to other kinds of paid leaves you had   and the individual employers could also offer this.

When it comes to men’s paternity leave, you can use the unpaid leave once the little one arrives.

This means that you could take it at once, take it in chunks or reduce your working hours according to the length of your leave.

How about the benefits?

According to the law regarding paternity leave for men, the employer must keep you on the health insurance plan even though you are on leave. Usually people also get their premiums but they are asked by the company to reimburse these for their share.

It is possible that your job gets terminated or you give your job up while being on paternity leave. In this case, the employer will put you on COBRA which means the same health insurance plan you had before, but in this case you will have to pay the entire premium from your own pocket.

Another possibility is that the employer will ask you to pay back the premiums spent on your insurance while you were on men’s paternity leave. There is an exception in this case: you not returning to work because you were affected by a serious health condition or something else happened that you can’t control while being on paternity leave for men.


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