How to Request FMLA Paternity Leave Effortlessly
Taking time off for the birth of a child, an adoption, or to welcome a new foster child is often thought of as something that women do. After all, moms are the ones who carry the child, give birth, and they predominantly provide childcare. Maternity leave allows mothers the opportunity to stop working so they can recover from childbirth and bond with their babies. But, it's also very important for fathers to spend time with their new babies.
In fact, experts say that it's critically important for fathers to bond with their children, especially when they're very young. that lasts several weeks or even months helps promote parent-child bonding and improves the lives of children.
Paternity leave is also said to increase gender equality in the home and workplace. While paid paternity leave provides advantages for working families, it is not available in all states.
If you do not have access to paid paternity leave in your state and your employer does not provide paid time off, you may still qualify for paternity leave under the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA).
What Is FMLA?
The FMLA is a federal leave law that guarantees eligible employees unpaid leave for family and medical conditions without the threat of losing their job. In addition, FMLA requires that employers who are covered by the law maintain the health benefits for eligible employees on leave as if they were still working.
Eligible employees are entitled to 12 workweeks of unpaid family leave in a 12-month period for:
- The birth of a child and to care for a newborn child within the first year of birth;
- Adopting a child or becoming a foster parent and caring for the newly placed child for the first year.
Who Is Eligible for FMLA Paternity Leave?
Both mothers and fathers need to be able to provide for their children, and sometimes that means taking time off of work. Thankfully, anyone with parental responsibility can take paternity leave under the FMLA. To show that you have parental responsibility, you must be:
- A biological parent (even if you do not live with the child)
- The child's adoptive parent
- A surrogate parent, or
- The spouse or civil partner of the child's parent, adopter, or surrogate parent
Can I Get Paid on FMLA?
Maintaining your family's income is essential, especially as you prepare to add another member to the household. If you happen to live in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, you'll be eligible for paid paternity leave.
Unfortunately, if you don't live in one of these states, you probably won't be getting paid for family leave. You may be able to use your accrued sick time, personal time, and vacation time to ensure you get paid for at least part of your time off.
How to Apply for FMLA
If you live in a state that does not provide paid paternity leave, you'll need to apply for an FMLA leave of absence. Generally, the process of applying for a maternity or paternity leave under FMLA is pretty straightforward:
- Notify your employer 30 days in advance that you'll be taking medical leave.
- Submit a written request or complete your company's FMLA leave forms.
- Provide the necessary supporting documents to your employer.
- Update your employer if your status changes or if your leave needs to be extended.
FMLA Guidelines by State
While the FMLA is a federal law that protects workers, when you apply for time off for a new baby, you need to follow your state's guidelines.
Use this handy guide to help you determine what is required to get your FMLA leave approved quickly.
- New Jersey
- New York
- New Mexico
- South Dakota
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
How to Request FMLA Leave on Your Own
If you're expecting a new baby, or if you're preparing to become an adoptive or foster parent, it's important to let your employer know you'll be needing time off as soon as possible. In most companies, you'll be able to speak to the human resources department to find out what forms need to be filled out to request FMLA leave.
If you're having trouble with the process, someone from HR should be available to assist you.
Get Your FMLA Leave Approved Fast With DoNotPay
If you're having a hard time applying for FMLA leave, or you're just not quite sure what to do, don't worry. DoNotPay can help you manage this complicated task so you can focus on your new arrival.
How to request parental leave using DoNotPay:
If you want to request parental leave but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 6 easy steps:
- Tell us which state you work in (if you work in CA, NY, NJ, MA, WA, or DC, your state has a paid family leave program).
- Choose whether you want us to apply to the program for you or contact your employer with your leave request. If you want to apply for the program, we will walk you through the questions on the form and mail the application form for you.
- If you want us to contact your employer, enter your leave details, including the starting date, number of weeks of leave, and how many weeks of paid leave you are requesting (for example, you may take a 12 week leave, but only request 8 weeks of paid leave to make the request reasonable).
- Indicate whether you are the birth parent or not (birth parents have a few additional legal protections).
- Enter the name of your company and the person to address this request to.
- Select whether you want us to email the request to your employer on your behalf.
Why Use DoNotPay to Get FMLA Leave
Applying for paternity leave from your employer can be a daunting task, but it's important that you get the time you need. Instead of stressing the process, leave it to DoNotPay.
|Get it Done Fast||You don't have a lot of time to spend on tedious tasks, especially with a new baby on the way. DoNotPay will help you get the FMLA to leave you to deserve with the click of a button.|
|It's So Easy||Forget about complicated forms and long, drawn-out processes. Just answer a few questions and click the button to produce an FMLA leave request.|
|Get Your Time Off||You can rest assured knowing that you've done what you need to do to protect your job while still being able to spend precious time with your newest family member.|
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While it's certainly impressive, helping employees get the FMLA leave they deserve isn't the only thing can do. The world's first robot lawyer is actually a robust app that can help you manage a huge variety of tasks, including:
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