You are wondering – how long do fathers get for paternity leave in California?
As a father in California you are ENTITLED to 12 weeks of federally protected [unpaid] paternity leave and 4-6 weeks out of these 12 weeks of state funded FULLY PAID paternity leave. Who pays for it ? Well – You whenever you pay taxes.
How does paternity leave works?
Let your manager and HR know that you’d like to initiate paternity leave starting approximately in [insert date of your childbirth/adoption]. After that on the birth day (or later) you can simply let your manager know of the first day of your FMLA (family and medical leave act). Your HR should send you all the necessary info regarding how to file the claim with California to receive your pay.
The will send you to the EDD (Employment Development Department) website. You will hit the “Claims” button then Paid Family Leave (PFL) Overview and follow the prompts. All the frequent questions that fathers have will be answered on the following link.
Basically you will have to open an account with BANK OF AMERICA, you will receive a credit card in the regular mail. You can use that card like your typical form of payment or you can withdraw cash from Bank of America terminals (tellers). That’s the entire process of receiving you FMLA paycheck from California state.
Note: Oddly enough, many San Francisco and Los Angeles museums like the Discovery cube in Anaheim. Here’s the link from Bank of America with a complete list of participating Museums that you can get in for free with the Bank of America card – which is part of Museums on Us program.
If you work in IT, if you work for in health care, if you work for ANY INDUSTRY! You ! Yes you have a small but useful law protecting your right to spend a little bit of time with your child – this is the information for future and current father who’d like to enjoy their time with the newborn.
Welcome to California – the most progressive state when it comes to policy making and implementation. A state where maternity leave is one of the longest in United States, yet miniscule compared with the rest of the world.
In California there are 3 laws protecting your rights as a new father within the 1st year of the childbirth, FMLA, CFRA, The New Parent Leave Act. All of these policies/laws must be clearly outlined in your employee hand book. If you’re working for a start-up and your boss is being difficult; you should
read study the employee handbook back and forth. If the handbook lacks reference to the California state laws, you can try to use this as leverage in your negotiations. Important to note that you don’t have to take the entire 12 weeks allocated at one time and can break it into multiple segments.
Requesting paternity days off with managers:
Furthermore, some incompetent managers will use various facets of rhetoric to persuade you to take less days off, saying something like: “other guys in the department took only one or two days off, etc…” Clearly you should stop any fugery of this sort in its root. Speak up and don’t be afraid, some people think they will lose their job for demanding their rights. If your manager threatens you and there’s a possibility of losing your job because you’re taking lawful time off then you probably shouldn’t be working for that company in the first place. For example the managers at my wife’s work were playing too much and ended up jamming themselves up, simply because they were not following the state law. So yeah, let me emphasize this point once again: in case your administration is being non-compliant you should read the employee handbook and begin your negotiations.
People in USA love to bargain, whenever the time comes to negotiate a salary, credit rate, medical bills payments or even paternity/maternity leave. In a country where 12 year olds are free to change their biological sex (theybees), in country where your parental rights might be revoked for disciplining your child, in a country where kids are not free to spend time outside without supervision you will have to negotiate your parental leave. Instead of making the process of parenting a less stressful affair you will have to learn about the rights you have and laws you can employ for your dialog with managers. As a side note, your should check out Youtube video by Chris Voss – a negotiation expert. I found this information useful for negotiating in various life situations.
FMLA (The Family and Medical Leave Act)
12 weeks of unpaid leave to fulfill family obligations during a 12-month rolling period for the birth or care of the employee’s child within the first year of birth
Eligibility for paternity days off in California:
• the birth or care of (bonding with) your child within the first year of birth
• the care of (bonding with) an adoptive or foster child within the first year of placement
• the care of a child, parent, or spouse who has a serious health condition
• your own serious health condition
• Be employed at a worksite where 20 or more employees are employed
• Have completed 12 months of employment
• Have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the beginning of the leave in your company
• Two parents simultaneously employed by the same company are each treated as an individual employee.
Paid paternity leave california:
• Paternity leave is unpaid unless the employee has a separate legal right to pay during leave.
• Typically PFL (Paid Family Leave) fund kicks in and you will be compensated for 6 weeks
What you should do as a future father?
• Provide notice to your employer within reasonable time (There is no definition of ‘reasonable’ … just keep that point in mind)
Here’s a bit of reiteration for the FMLA, CFRA, and The New Parent Leave Act:
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which provides a federal right for eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to tend to certain family obligations, including caring for the serious health condition of a spouse and the birth or adoption of a child.
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA), which is the state counterpart to the FMLA and provides most of the same rights, including a right for eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid paternity leave.
The New Parent Leave Act, which is similar to the FMLA and CFRA in that it provides up to 12 weeks of paternity leave, but its protections apply to smaller employers (those with as few as 20 to 49 employees).
Personal Leave Bonus:
This policy allows you to take extended time off to take care of personal issues that you cannot deal with while you are working. Sooooo, once you have exhausted your rightful time allocated by the 3 laws outlined above, you can and definitely should take Personal Leave. Typically this leave is unpaid, however in my opinion no amount of money can substitute for every minute spent with your little human being.
Remember these are the days that you will never get back. Ask any older individual and no one is going to brag about the hours they out in while working at the factory of their choice. Everyone tends to remember the magical moments spent with their infants. The first words, first steps, first everything – you want to be present for those moments.
Keep in mind – Personal leaves of absence for situations covered by Family Leave will not be considered until the provisions described in the Family Leave of Absence guidelines are exhausted.
What to do with babies while on paternity leave.
There are a million way you can productively spend the time with your infant. We chose to spend most of the time outside in the nature hiking and exploring the nature of California. Whatever it is you choose to do with your little human being it is important to keep in mind that you have legally protected time to do so.
You should definitely take advantage of the 12 weeks with your newborn. As many of our friends have pointed out – it is the easiest to travel long distance with a baby before they turn 1. Even though we are not big proponents of long distance travel for children, we still think that this is the most ideal time to go abroad if you have a good reason. So if you were planning on taking that international vacation it this is the perfect time to do and your job should be protected when you come back.
Check out the useful infant travel checklist tips that my wife and I complied to make your short distance and long distance travel experience a bit more pleasant.
This is the time in your child’s and your life that you will never get back. This is the time to lay down the foundation of your future relationship. This is the time for your child to learn from you, to laugh with you, to be primed for other future interaction. I think that 12 weeks clearly is not enough, nevertheless it’s a small luxury that every father should take advantage off.