Leave after having a baby is fairly standard for women since they do go through the physical act of delivering the baby and need time to recover. Maternity leave is also a chance for mothers to bond with their babies and adjust to being new parents.
Paternity leave allows fathers to have that same bonding opportunity, but it is not common in the United States. However, California’s employee-friendly laws do offer this option through Paid Family Leave.
Paid Family Leave provides an option
PFL allows any worker to take time off with pay to bond with a new child. It serves as a type of paternity leave that is quite beneficial to new fathers who want to build a relationship with their child and adjust to being a parent without the demands of work taking up their time.
The details of taking PFL
Fathers who wish to take paid family leave can do so for up to eight weeks. They will not receive their full pay. Rather PFL provides 60 to 70% of the average paycheck as benefits.
It is important to note that PFL does not protect the father’s job. So, fathers should use it in conjunction with job protection, such as the California Family Rights Act.
To qualify for PFL, new fathers must show a new child joined their family in the previous 12 months. In the previous five to 18 months, they must have paid into state disability insurance and cannot already have taken all PFL time within the past 12 months.
The time right after birth is important for bonding and for everyone to adjust to the change. Taking PFL gives fathers the same options as mothers to be present during this period.