California Paternity Leave Laws
Paternity leave is the time a new father takes off from work to be with his child.
California's paternity leave laws differ in significant ways from maternity leave laws because no pregnancy is involved.
But California paternity leave laws offer a level of legal protection to parents who aren’t already protected under pregnancy discrimination and leave laws.
At Starpoint Law, LC, we’ve spent years helping new families understand their rights to California paternity leave.
If you think you may be eligible for California paternity leave but don’t know where to start, or are concerned that you may be discriminated against if you take the leave you’re entitled to, read on and see how the Starpoint team can help.
Contact us today to get started!
What Is California Paternity Leave?
In California, many men have a legal right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave.
California's paternity leave can be used to bond with a new child, adopted or biological. The California state paternity leave laws apply to both same-sex couples and heterosexual couples.
However, California paternity leave laws are a patchwork of laws, not a clear legal directive. Any one of the following laws may apply to your California paternity leave:
- The Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA);
- The California Family Rights Act (CFRA); or
- The New Parent Leave Act.
Each of these laws applies to different types of employers. Both the FMLA and CFRA apply to employers with 50 or more employees. The New Parent Leave Act’s protection applies to employers with 20-49 employees.
How Long Is Paternity Leave in California?
California paternity leave length depends upon a few factors but is usually about 12 weeks unpaid. One factor is the size of your employer. Other factors are how long you’ve worked there and how many hours you’ve worked.
Some California companies provide their employees with paid leave. Often, the paid leave offered is far more generous than that required by California paternity leave laws.
New parents should note that the 12 weeks of leave specified under California state paternity leave laws is a floor, not a ceiling.
California employers are free to craft creative and generous parental leave policies. These policies can reflect their economic circumstances and the needs of their workforce.
Am I Eligible for California Paternity Leave?
You may be eligible for California paternity leave if you work for a company that employs more than 20 people (New Parent Leave Act) or more than 50 people (FMLA/CFRA).
If you’ve been employed for more than 12 months prior to the date of your leave and worked more than 1,250 hours, you may be eligible under California state paternity leave laws.
You should also check with your company’s human resources department about any paid leave policies in place.
How Starpoint Law Can Help
We can fight for your rights in court if your leave is denied. Contact us today for a free case consultation.