FMLA for dads

I can't believe we've never had this issue arise before, but this is the first time I've had a male employee ask about taking any length of time off following the birth of his child and I realized that we have no policy in place about how dads may use their paid time off during FMLA, so I'm checking to see how any of you handle or would handle this.

When moms go out on FMLA for the birth of a child, we allow them to use their accrued sick time while they are on leave. I know having given birth does not mean you are "sick", but you are recovering from a major physical event, and if you've had a C-section you're recovering from major surgery. But do any of you pay sick time for dads who go out on FMLA following the birth of their child?


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • We have PTO, but we still separate the two events: FMLA for delivery and recovery, and FMLA for bonding. If you have been treating it as all one event then I think you need to allow the dads the same as the moms.

    This seems a good time to revise your policy and make things clear. Just keep in mind you are setting precedents and how sick time for bonding might affect other situations where employees want to take sick time.

    Good luck!
  • Thanks for your replies. We don't have a written maternity leave policy outside of FMLA and since FMLA doesn't distinguish between mothers and fathers I don't think we'll need to do anything as far as changing or adding to our policy. It'll just be a matter of allowing the same for men as we do for women.

    I don't think it'll ever become a huge issue for us, the women outnumber the men here by about four-to-one and this is the first dad I've ever heard from who wanted to take anything off beyond a few days during the week the baby was born. I am excited to see a dad who actually wants to spend time bonding with his newborn!
  • Under Paternity Leave in our CBA the father can use sick leave concurrently with unpaid FMLA. Non-bargaining members have to use their annual leave unless a serious medical issue exists.
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