As a new father, you want to spend as much time as you can with your child. Unfortunately, your employer refused to honor your request for parental leave, or maybe you only got a couple of weeks off. Is this legal?
The New York Times explored workplace discrimination against new fathers. Learn whether you experienced discrimination and how to protect your rights as a parent.
Understand company policy
If your company offers parental leave, check the maximum number of weeks you can take off. For instance, if your employer offers 16 weeks, but you only received three weeks paid leave, you may have grounds for a discrimination case. Sometimes, companies differentiate between primary and secondary caregivers when deciding how many weeks of parental leave to give employees. Because you are the father and not the mother, your employer may consider you a secondary caregiver, which may be why you did not receive full parental leave.
Inquire about exceptions
While checking the length of parental leave, look into exceptions regarding the designation of secondary and primary caregiver. For instance, your company may note that if your spouse returns to work before the end of the maximum parental leave length, you can use the remaining time to bond with your child. Another exception may be that you can take the full length of time if medical reasons bar your child’s mother from providing childcare.
Consider whether your company encourages new fathers to take time off
Does your company encourage new fathers to take advantage of parental leave, or are you made to feel uncomfortable about taking more than a couple of weeks off? The current workplace atmosphere could help build your case if you take legal action against your employer for workplace discrimination.
Protect your rights as a new father. Do not let your employer get away with workplace discrimination.