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PAID TIME OFF FOR PATERNITY LEAVE FOR FATHERS

With father’s day just two days away, now is the time to thank Dads across the country for everything they do to participate in the upbringing of children, from working long hours outside the home to working long hours inside the home as a stay-at-home dad.

While it’s not uncommon for new mothers to take maternity leave, it’s much less common for new fathers to do the same? Why is that? Is it the lack of paid time off to cover such leave? The lack of short term disability coverage for wage replacement (many, but not all new mothers are able to supplement wages lost during maternity leave with short term disability coverage)? Is it something else?

This father’s day we’d like to remind expectant fathers here in California that our state has granted you the right to take paid time off to bond with your newborn, your newly adopted child or to care for a sick or ailing son or daughter. It’s called paid family leave. It is not a program that employers administer, but it may be in addition to benefits provided by your employer.

The Paid Family Leave program is run by the California Employment Development Department. If you contribute to the State Disability Insurance fund, you are eligible for paid family leave. The fund allows for wage replacement of up to 55 percent of your pay for six weeks of leave per year. The six weeks do not have to be taken all at once, but can be taken as needed, in the instance of a sick child at home.

Application for benefits and status inquiries on your application should be directed to the Employment Development Department. There is a seven-day waiting period before benefits can begin to be paid out.

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