Do I have to offer paternity leave?

It doesn’t matter if your employee is a mom or dad, parental leave applies to all parents (hence the name). If your company has 50 or more employees on staff, you’re required to offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave for eligible employees, both moms and dads, according to the FMLA, or Family and Medical Leave ActEmployees are eligible if they’ve worked for at least a year at your company (and worked at least 1,250 hours within the past 12 months). They also need to work within 75 miles of where at least 50 of your employees work too. Keep in mind that when your employee returns from maternity leave, you need to make sure they have the same role, title, seniority, and compensation package as they did when they left.

That being said, many employers go above and beyond the federal mandate and offer their teams paid or partially paid leave. Your state may also have separate requirements that supersede the federal laws. For example, California has a paid family leave program that pays parents up to 55 percent of their earnings for a maximum of six weeks. See what your state has to say about family leave and go from there.

Need help while designing your paternity leave policy? Here’s what you need to know.

This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business.