Since 1993, new parents (both moms and dads) in the United States have been assured that they are unemployed from the job after the child's birth or adoption. But even though your job will be protected, you are not likely to be paid. This gives extra stress during a time already filled with sleepless nights and new anxiety. The kicker is that the United States is the only developed nation as does not pay new parents when they take time to take care of new family members.
But what does this mean to you? Paternity leave in the United States varies depending on where you live and where you work. Because these rules and requirements may be confusing, we put this fuzzy sheet together to point you in the right direction.
What is paternity leave?
In simple terms, paternity leave is when a dad takes free time from work to stay home and help with a new baby or child. This allows family time to adapt to its new normal and provides valuable bonding time among all family members. It also offers additional support to a husband or a domestic partner during this important time.
Paternity Leave Laws across the United States
The Family and Health Care Act (FMLA) is a federal law that requires companies with more than 50 employees to give 12 weeks of leave to new parents, but no salary is guaranteed. In fact, only four states currently require paid maternity and paternity leave: New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and California.
But not all hope is lost. Even if you live in a country without paying parental leave, you can still get paid leave if offered by your company. Employers can offer anywhere from zero days to 16 weeks of paid leave. However, these benefits are offered solely at their sole discretion. Some new parents need to save sickness or holiday days to cover the cost of lost salaries. Other companies can offer short-term employee insurance, which pays out a percentage of your regular salary over a certain number of weeks.
Change attitudes about paternity leave
Your father may not have paid paid paternity leave as a priority when choosing an employer, but new dads today require more. In terms of paid paternity leave, 83 percent of the millenniums said they would be more likely to commit a company that offered it and 38 percent said they would consider leaving the United States to get this advantage.
Although paternity leave becomes more accepted, it still carries a stigma that some fathers fear. A dad, named Norman, told "Esquire" about his experience Become a new father.
"When our children were born … I had not accumulated enough free time to take more than a day or two. It was in the early 80's, so the term parental leave was not even in the picture yet. That was pretty much so that mom stopped working (without wages, of course) while dad took a few days away if possible … I do not know how much things have changed since then, but the term parental leave is a good one. "
In response to Norman's request for how many things have changed, another dad talked about his 16-week paid paternity leave.
"I got 16 weeks full pay. It's a crazy amount. I took everything, and it was a part of the judgment:" You are the man, that's what women should do. "It's a field dominated by the old guard. HR would not have had any consequences, but I would say I do not see any big campaigns coming soon anytime. "
It is obvious that while paternity leave increases acceptance, it is still a topic of certain debate and the risk of new dads. Despite studies which shows the benefits of paid family law for both parents and children (10 percent lower mortality, depression in postpartum and more evenly divided childbirths), states and companies are slow to adopt the more generous policies for other countries.
In the European Union, it average paternity leave is 12.5 days – stretches for 64 days in Slovenia for just one day in Italy. And for unemployment less than seven days, dads in all countries receive 100 percent of their wages.
What can you do?
When the tide turns, it's one thing you can do to get paid paper leave. Let your employers and legislators know that this is an important issue for you. But until the day when the United States ends up in the rest of the world, here are some practical steps to help you figure out how to do paternity management for you, regardless of the employer's policy:
- Plan ahead. Make sure your office is ready to work without you. Put a plan in place early to let your employer know that you are engaged in your position and your family. By not leaving them in trouble you get credibility and trust you can distance without a disaster that follows.
- Work as long as possible. Do not go early. Start your vacation when your partner goes into work and not a minute earlier. This maximizes the amount of time you spend and actually supports the mother and ties with your new blessing.
- Be moving. Sometimes you just can not afford to be inaccessible for a few months. In that case you should define very defined limits for your availability. Make sure you are available for things like quick questions, but no real work. This is not time for you to save the day with a brilliant presentation or touch a new client. Be available as needed but stuck in your limits.
- Coordinate leave with your partner. Depending on what each person has access to in terms of family leave, it may be meaningful to stop your father's leave with maternity leave. While this may not be the perfect solution, it may allow your baby to have more time at home with a parent, even if it is not always at the same time.