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Can I get paternity leave under the law?

Mothers typically get time off after having a baby, but do fathers have this right in California? Learn more about paternity leave options.

When a woman has a baby, she usually gets time off of work after giving birth to recover and bond with her baby. For fathers, though, there is no standard leave. In California, the state recognizes that dads also deserve time to help and bond with the new baby. Various laws provide for paternity leave.

California paid family leave

The California Employment Development Department explains paid family leave benefits will allow a father to have time off to bond with his new child. The program provides a person with up to eight weeks of time paid at about 60% to 70% of the person’s average weekly wages. The weekly wage amount depends on earnings made in the five to 18 months prior to the leave date.

To receive paid time off, a father must qualify under the program. To qualify, the person must have a biological child born within the last 12 months. He must have paid into the state disability insurance within the last five to 18 months, and not already have taken eight weeks of paid time off in the past 12 months.

It is important to note that the paid time off program does not protect the person’s job. It does not require the employer to hold the person’s position or have employment available when he returns.

San Francisco paid family leave

The Office of Labor Standards Enforcement explains the Paid Family Leave program provides up to eight weeks off with payment for employers who have at least 20 employees.

To be eligible, a father must have worked for the employer for at least 180 days and work at least eight hours per week of work with at least 40% of the total work hours within the city of San Francisco. The person must also qualify under the California Paid Family Leave program.

Compensation under the program is for full compensation with a maximum limit. In 2021, the maximum weekly payment limit was $2,262.

It is important to note that a person must use the California Paid Family Leave before taking the San Francisco paid leave.

Because the state paid time off benefits are for compensation and not protection of the job, it is important for a new father to work with their employer before taking the time off. While the San Francisco program offers more protection for the job, it does require first using the state benefits. A person may wish to consult with an attorney, such as The Law Offices of Daniel Feder, prior to taking time off to learn more about the options and understand how benefits work.