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Your rights in the workplace: using FMLA for paternity leave

On Behalf of | Jul 29, 2021 | Employment Discrimination |

For many new fathers in Florida, taking time off from work and bonding with their newborns is essential. Although most companies follow the requirements of the Family Medical Leave Act, they make no additional concessions. If your company terminated you after submitting for FMLA leave or took steps upon your return that changed your job, you might have grounds for a claim.

Paternity leave is the time a man takes away from work to spend time with his newborn. According to the Department of Labor, FMLA allows a new dad time away from work, allowing him to care for his child.

FMLA leave requirements

Under FMLA, a person may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family-related reasons. Becoming a new parent, whether through childbirth or adoption, are among those reasons. The legislation applies to mothers, fathers and domestic partners. You can take a leave of absence from your job and state and federal laws to prohibit retaliation against any worker who takes leave under FMLA conditions.

Discrimination at work

While Florida doesn’t have paid leave laws, FMLA does offer job protection. Despite legislation, new mothers and fathers might face discrimination in the workplace. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations after certain types of medical conditions. For women, this includes pregnancy and childbirth. Upon their return to the workplace, they often experience discrimination in the form of harassment and a downgrade in job status.

However, new dads also experience discrimination at work. It may come in the form of unequal promotion opportunities, bullying/harassment or termination. It’s essential that you understand your rights and options when addressing caregiver discrimination with your employer.