Dads Get Leave Too!

Last week I went to visit Fitz and Mellie, old college buddies, who recently had their first baby. After several minutes of admiring the baby, I asked the doting parents how long they intended to stay home with him before returning to work. I’m thinking about taking the full 12-weeks of family medical leave, replied Mellie. Fitz replied, I have a week of vacation left, so I’ll probably take a week, but I wish I could take more. Why don’t you take more? I questioned. Fitz replied, Well, I asked my supervisor if I could take more time off and he said the company doesn’t allow paternity leave. If I want to take more time, I can only use my vacation time. Fitz’s employer is a nationwide company employing 100s of employees, and Fitz has worked there as a full-time employee for four years.

Fitz’s explanation as to why he couldn’t take leave troubled me because dads have rights too, under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Assuming you’re an employee who qualifies for leave (worked 1,250 hours in the 12-months before the leave request) and your employer is a covered company (employs 50 people within a 75-mile radius), dads are eligible to take unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12-weeks for:

  • The birth of their child, and to bond with a newborn child; and
  • For the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care, and to bond with that child.

If you have questions about your rights under FMLA, Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the State of Georgia with expertise in this area of law. We have an uncompromising commitment to serving our clients and our community. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business. For more information, contact Lajuana Ransaw or call 770-957-3937.

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