More Men are Taking Time Off for Baby
More and more men are recognizing the importance of being at home with the birth of a new baby and are requesting time off, making them men on maternity leave. The government has put into place a law that guarantees an employee job protection if they choose to take unpaid leave because of a medical or family issue.
Just the Facts
The Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, guarantees that an employee can take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave from their job with the birth of a child or when adopting. If taking leave under FMLA, the employee must be able to return to his same or a similar position with the same benefits, salary and working conditions. There are a few qualifications, through:
• The employee must work for the government (either federal, state or local), or work for a company with over 50 employees living within a 75 mile radius.
• You’ve worked with the current employer for at least the previous 12 months, for a minimum of 1,250 hours (approximately 25 hours per week for 50 weeks).
• The employee can’t be within the top 10% of wage earners or be in a position where his/her absence could cause serious economic harm to the company.
• If both partners work for the same company, they may only allow a maximum of 12 weeks total, for both partners.
This type of leave is usually unpaid and you may be asked to contribute money towards your benefits during your absence. Rarely, your employer can put you on COBRA, a plan where you are still covered under the company insurance, but you must pay the entire premium yourself. You also will not accrue seniority, or credit towards vacation time during your leave.