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Can new fathers get paid family leave in California?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2022 | Employment Law |

In the 21st century, more dads want to take some time off when a new child joins the family. In past eras, maternity leave was typically only available to mothers, and most workplaces did not offer paid leave.

Contemporary times call for modern solutions. Mothers of today find it much easier to take paid leave for a baby, and fathers are also beginning to enjoy these rights. 

What are the benefits?

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) cites several advantages families reap when dads take family leave. Examples include:

  • Improves bonding and engagement between dads and infants
  • Increased engagement improves development and health outcomes for kids
  • Reduces the inner conflict of balancing work and family
  • Increases employment opportunities for mothers

Paid family leave for dads may also improve family stability and the relationship between the two parents.

Who qualifies for paternal family leave?

It would be nice if everyone could have time off to bond with a new baby, but that is not how it works. A biological father is eligible for paid family leave in California if:

  1. They had a new child (via birth) within the last 12 months; and
  2. They have not used their paid leave within the past 12 months; and
  3. They paid into the State Disability Insurance program in the past five to 18 months

For your convenience, State Disability Insurance appears on most California paystubs as CASDI.

What about dads that adopt or foster a child?

In families that foster or adopt a child, dads can still qualify for paid leave by meeting the above eligibility requirements. The only difference is that the child arrives through adoption or a foster program instead of birth.

Those who believe they were improperly denied paid family leave for a new baby should become more familiar with state employment laws. It is also wise to learn about your legal options if your rights were indeed violated.