Paternity Leave Laws in California

Minimal worry on the part of the mother and father when a new child arrives is in the interest of the California state. Therefore, just like a mother takes time off work to tend for the pregnancy and the new child, paternity leave gives a father up to 12 weeks off to bond with the new baby without risking losing their job.


Which Employers offer paternal leave?


The federal laws and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) have the same stipulations regarding employers that can offer paternity leave. As long as an employer has 50 or more workers, they are required by law to give paternity leave to new fathers. The state has passed the New Parental Leave Act (NPLA) which now requires workplaces with 20 or more staff to offer paternity leave.


Who is eligible for paternity leave?

For a person to qualify for 12-weeks paternity leave in California, they must meet these demands.

1. Worked for the current employer for at least 12 months.
2. Must have been active for 1,250 hours for the 12 months preceding the leave.
3. Under the NPLA, one needs to be attached to an employer with at least 20 employees in a 75-mile radius.

Are those on paternity leave paid?

Currently, no Federal or California state law requires an employer to pay an individual on paternity leave. However, the employee can discuss with the management so that they are given the paid vacation, PTO, or Sick Leave money during the paternity leave.

California State has put mechanisms in place to support the new fathers financially during paternity leave. In this regard, the fathers get paid 55% of their wages for six weeks. Those who make one-third of the average salary of the state are eligible for 70% of their salaries. However, the state has set the maximum for this financial support at $1,173.


Right of Reinstatement

At the end of the leave, one is reinstated to the same job as before. The employer can decide to switch the worker to a different job description, but it should be on the same level as the one that preceded the paternity leave.


How does one request for Paternity Leave?

The employee is required by CFRA to give 30 days’ notice when they foresee the need for the paternity leave. In situations where the employee is caught unawares, such as in the case of an early birth, they are required to give as early a notice as it is practicable.