What does a father's fight for parental leave mean?
It's easy for a mother to obtain parental leave from their place of work, but when a father requests it, suddenly it's not so easy anymore. Why must father's fight for parental leave?
As society grows more and more accepting of stay at home dads, companies lag behind in catching up with these changing values. While many companies offer their female employees 16 or more weeks of paid parental leave, they do not offer males the same options.
According to an article published on the ACLU website, many companies, mother's are consider the "primary caregivers" and therefore, are expected to stay home and take care of the baby. Fathers, on the other hand, are considered "secondary caregivers" and are usually not expected to be stay at home parents. That's why companies only give them the barebones options when it comes to the birth of their children.
While more competitive companies may offer great packages for both the father and the mother, most companies do not. Fathers often only receive two weeks of paid time off for paternity leave.
What hoops must a father jump through in order to obtain paid time off for paternity?
Usually, they must either show that the mother is not taking on the "primary caregiver" role and is returning to their job. Or, they must show that the mother is not medically capable of being a caregiver. There two caveats are often difficult to prove. And, furthermore, what is wrong with both parent's want to spend a few weeks bonding with their newborn?
Society has changed since the Baby Boomer's generation. Many Generation X men saw their father's not as active caregivers, but as merely providers, and they want to raise their children differently. They want to be actively involved in their care giving.
What can be done to counter this parental discrimination?
Parent's must make their complaints known, so that companies feel the pressure to change their policies to match what families want nowadays.
To learn about a father's legal options, consult with an attorney.
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