22 Apr Paid family leave program under California law
California was the first state in the U.S. to allow its workers to take paid leave in order to care for newborn babies, as well as spouses and family members. Such family leave has helped many new mothers and fathers take time off from work to take care of their infants when necessary without loss of income.
Upon the birth of an infant, traditionally, new mothers were able to take maternity leave for a generous amount of time. As a result of the hard work of fathers’ rights advocates, paternity leave also has become a reality. Family leave and paternity leave under California law has enabled many fathers to be more involved in the postpartum care of the infant, along with the mother. Studies have revealed that fathers often tend to take only a small amount of time after the birth of a child. It is usually only a couple of weeks, as compared with the months that mothers often take for maternity leave.
In many cases, fathers may be able to take partial paid paternity leave for more than a few weeks in order to take care of their infants. Some companies voluntarily subscribe to paid family leave schemes so as to help their workers in such cases. More and more fathers are seeking professional legal help in order to understand their rights under state law.
While one school of thought feels that paternity leave enables new fathers to be absent from work for a long time, which adversely affects their jobs, most people agree that many fathers would otherwise have resigned from their jobs in order to take care of their infants if they weren’t allowed to take paternity leave. Such paternity leave may be especially beneficial for single fathers.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, “California’s paid family leave law: Lessons from the first decade,” June 23, 2014