Even as the issue of maternity leave for birth mothers is yet largely unsettled at many workplaces, questions pertaining to the rights of fathers, LGBTQ couples and adoptive parents has been largely left open.
Of course, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 makes it clear that new parents are entitled to at least 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and this applies to fathers as well as mothers and adoptive parents. However, few families can afford for even one parent to take that amount of unpaid time off work. Many workplaces will offer birth mothers paid leave, but the question is whether it’s lawful to offer disparate levels of leave to other classifications of new parents.
A case recently taken on by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the first such federal regulator lawsuit targeting parental leave policies granting more time to new mothers than new fathers. The settlement marks a shift in how both regulators and corporations are likely to respond to such policies. Continue reading