What You Need to Know About Paternity Leave Laws in California
For parents, raising a young child is one of the most important, yet rewarding parts of life. Establishing a bond with your child should be the single most significant aspect of your life. Eligible employees are often denied paternity leave. In order to protect themselves against workplace discrimination, gay employees must understand their paternity leave laws. Here’s everything you need to know about paternity leave laws in California.
In California, employees can be given paternity leave. Employees eligible for paternity leave are entitled to 12 weeks paternity leave. California employers with 50 or more employees must give their workers 12 weeks of paternity leave.
What Is Paternity Leave?
Paternity leave is time given to fathers to bond with and raise their newborn child. Paternity leave is common amongst gay couples who choose to raise a child.
Historically, parental leave was restricted to women. Gay couples seeking adoption, were prevented from raising their children without the stress of their occupation. California’s thriving LGBT community inspired lawmakers to enact legislation that protects gay fathers.
Does my employer provide paternity leave?
Legislation is in place to protect paternity rights. The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and federally-mandated Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) require employers with 50 or more employees to give their workers 12 weeks of unpaid paternity leave. Similarly, the New Parents Leave Act (NPLA) requires employees who work for employers with 20 to 49 employees the same benefits.
Am I eligible for paternity leave?
In order to be eligible for paternity leave, male employees must
- Have worked for the employer for at least one year
- Have worked 1,250 hours within the past year
- Have worked at a location that employs 50 employees within a 75-mile radius
How much time do I get off for paternity leave?
Eligible California employees typically get up to 12 weeks of paternity during their child’s first year since adoption, birth, or foster placement. Mothers and fathers are entitled to the same amount of parental leave. In California, it is illegal to discriminate parental leave based on sex.
However, women typically receive more time off work because of pregnancy. If a man were to be denied pregnancy leave, this would not be considered discrimination.
Will I be paid during my paternity leave?
By law, California employers are not required to compensate their employees while on parental leave. Therefore, most employers do not pay you during your time off. You can however, request compensation that would have been used for vacation time, sick days, or PTO.
California, unlike many other states, has a paid family leave program. Parents are often eligible to receive partial wages during their parental leave. California generally pays 60 percent of employees’ wages for six weeks of their parental leave. Low-income earners may even be compensated up to 70% of their usual wages.
Although smaller companies may not be required to offer paternity leave, many offer paid family leave benefits for their employees.
Will I return to my normal duties on the job after my paternity leave?
Your employer must reinstate you to the same or a similar position than the one you had. For example, if you worked as a corporate manager at a specific location, your employer cannot place you as a low-level employee 100 miles from where you worked.
How do I request paternity leave?
Pride Legal advises California employees to give a minimum of 30 days notice to their employer when requesting paternity leave for a foreseeable event, such as adoption, birth, or foster placement.
Contact Pride Legal
If you or a loved one has been denied parental leave, we invite you to contact us at Pride Legal for legal counseling or any further questions. To protect your rights, hire someone who understands them.