For Dad - Protections Under The Law
love your baby and canít imagine putting your newborn in daycare,
but you need a break. Who ever thought that you would look forward
to going back to work? You want to be a good mother, but you miss
your job, your coworkers, and having some adult conversation.
maybe you absolutely hate the idea of going back to work, but you
have already taken all of your Family and Medical Leave (or leave
under the California Family Rights Act) and you canít afford to lose
your job forever. Itís time for you to return to work and you have
not found a daycare provider you trust.
Well, what about dad? While it is still uncommon for
dads to take leave after the birth of their newborn, the law does
provide many fathers with this right. And, just as with moms, it is
unlawful for an employer to retaliate if a father exercises this
Both the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the Family and
Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allow many fathers to take up to 12 weeks
of leave to care for their newborn child. The same benefits and
restrictions apply to men as apply to women. This means that mom
can take 12 weeks right after the babyís birth and dad can take the
next 12 weeks, assuming that both parents qualify for CFRA or FMLA.
As long as leave is completed within one year of babyís birth, each
parent can choose when to take leave.
may also be able to take leave to care for his wife if she is
seriously ill during her pregnancy or after the birth of their
child. This right is also available under both CFRA and FMLA.
Exceptions to the law do exist. For instance, if both parents work
for the same employer, under CFRA, a total of 12 weeks of leave is
permitted for both parents. This means that mom can take 5 weeks
and dad can take 7, or mom can take 10 weeks and dad can take 2, but
there is a twelve week limit on the total amount of leave that can
be taken. Even in this situation, an attorney may be able to help
so that both parents can take a full 12 weeks of leave time by
looking at their rights under various state and federal laws.
laws surrounding who can take leave and when are complicated and
individual circumstances differ. For example if mom takes leave
because she is placed on bed rest during her pregnancy, and dad
continues to work, dad may be entitled to 12 weeks of FMLA to care
for their newborn and mom may not. On the other hand, mom may
still be eligible for CFRA leave to care for their newborn. In
addition, dad may use some of his FMLA leave to care for mom while
she is on bed rest. In this case, dad may have less time available
to bond with his newborn under either FMLA or CFRA.
Whether you want guidance on how to tell your boss your pregnant,
how to protect yourself from adverse treatment after becoming
pregnant, or you just want to know the different types of leave you
might be entitled to, Sarah Schlehr teaches seminars that are taught in a friendly,
easy-to-understand format that will help you in your struggle to
balance work and family.
To learn more about your legal rights during
pregnancy and parenting, visit
www.pregnancylawyer.com or call Attorney
Sarah B. Schlehr directly at (310) 492-5757.
This Belly Scoop has
been sponsored by Sara Schlehr, The Pregnancy Lawyer for you!