Parental leave rights now available to fathers

The Massachusetts legislature stood up for fathers when it expanded the state’s family leave act. The Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act provided female employees with eight weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, without fear of termination or retaliation. On April 7, 2015, the law will officially become the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act, providing job protection for women and men.

Massachusetts employers with at least six employees must follow the Act’s regulations, but employers maintain discretion over whether leave is paid or unpaid.  Employees are responsible for providing at least two weeks of advanced notice.  If a two week notice is not possible, employees may notify the employer as soon as the need arrives, as long as the delay in requesting leave was beyond the worker’s control.

Details of the Act

Men and women can take leave under the Paternal Leave Act for various life events, such as:

  • The birth of a new child;
  • Adoption of a child under the age of 18;
  • Adoption of a mentally or physically disabled individual under the age of 23; or
  • The court ordered placement of a child into the employee’s custody.

Upon conclusion of the leave, the employer must restore the employee to their “previous, or a similar, position with the same status, pay, length of service credit and seniority, wherever applicable, as of the date of the leave.”

If you have questions about parental leave rights, contact us for a free case evaluation.