Dads can spend time with their babies, too

You are probably familiar with the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Traditionally, mothers have taken time off to recover from birth and bond with their newborn infant. However, did you know fathers have the right to take paternity leave as well?

Luckily, it is becoming more common to recognize the importance of a father’s role in getting a baby settled in the home. As a dad, it is important for you to support your partner and connect with your baby. But did you know you can take parental leave without putting your job at risk?

JPMorgan Chase updated parental leave policies

Two years ago, when a bank employee asked for 16 weeks of parental leave, they allowed him only two weeks of leave. Due to this alleged gender discrimination, the employee filed a gender discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

A class-action lawsuit with JPMorgan Chase ensued, recently resulting in a $5 million settlement for numerous men to whom the bank previously denied primary caregiver leave. The bank also clarified its gender-neutral policy language.

New York’s paid family leave

Starting in January, New York State began offering an inclusive paid family leave program. Depending on how long you have worked for your employer, you could be eligible to receive paid time off to help out when you have an active duty military member in your family, if you need to take care of a close relative who suffers from a serious health problem or when it is imperative to bond with your foster, adopted or newborn child.

Your paid family leave may increase gradually, as follows:

  • In 2019, you can take up to 10 weeks of leave and receive 55% of your average weekly earnings
  • Next year, you will be able to earn 60% of your average weekly wage for up to 10 weeks
  • Come 2021, you may take up to 12 weeks of paid leave while earning 67% of your average weekly pay

During your time away from work, you will still be responsible for paying your regular health insurance premiums. And when you take leave for approved purposes, your employer must offer either your same position or a comparable option when you return to your workplace.

You probably dedicated many years to establishing your career path. But thanks to the legislative recognition of the importance of both parents in raising children, you can take the time you need to solidify the family unit for whom you have work so hard.

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