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3 frequently asked questions about paternity leave for fathers

As a soon-to-be father, you might be wondering if you are going to be able to take time off work. You want to spend quality time with your newborn child and your partner. The Family and Medical Leave Act allows many new fathers to get time away from employment. But you might have some concerns about your eligibility and whether it will hurt your career. 

You must be aware of the rights and opportunities to which the law entitles you. Read on for a guide to taking medical leave as a new father. 

1. How do I know if I am eligible?

To get leave under the FMLA, you must work for a covered employer, such as a public school, public agency or a private company with 50 or more employees. You must also have worked for 12 months and at least 1,250 hours for this employer. 

2. Will it impact my career?

You might be concerned about your employer taking action against you for taking leave. However, it is against the law for a covered employer to discriminate you for taking medical leave. You might want to find out if any other men have taken leave for being a new father and how it has worked out between co-workers and supervisors. Some employers may be reluctant to grant paternity leave due to misinformation or ignorance. 

3. What if my employer denies my request?

If you are confident you are eligible for medical leave and have given your employer proper notice and you still get denied, inform your employer about these laws. Bring a copy of FMLA facts to your employer and explain that you are entitled. If you are unable to convince your employer, you might need to contact the Labor Department and an employee rights attorney. 

Now that you know more about the FMLA, you should be able to properly request medical leave as you expect to be a new father. 

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