Skip to Content
  • Netflix upped the stakes in the tech industry when it announced it was implementing an unlimited fully-paid parental leave policy during the first year of a child’s birth or adoption. Microsoft quickly announced that it was expanding its parental leave policy, extending fully paid time off to twelve weeks for both mothers and fathers, with an additional eight weeks of fully paid maternity disability leave for new mothers. 

    While generous parental leave benefits are fairly common in the highly-competitive tech industry, paid parental leave is uncommon across the United States. No federal law requires an employer to offer paid time off to new parents, and only a handful of states provide paid time off to them. For example, California provides new mothers and fathers six weeks of partial paid leave through the Paid Family Leave program, and new mothers with ten weeks (4 weeks pre-birth and 6 weeks after) of partial paid leave through the State Disability Insurance program. Those programs are administered through the state, however, not the individual employer. 

    What’s Your Company Policy?

    Even though employers are not legally required to provide paid parental leave, an employer’s own policies may require it to provide paid leave to new parents. Generally, if an employer makes personal or medical leave available to its workers, it must make such leave available to pregnant employees and new parents. The same is true for personal and vacation leave: employers generally must allow new parents to use this time off as parental leave if the employee meets the other requirements of the policy. Whatever an employer’s policies are with respect to parental leave, those policies should apply equally to men and women to avoid a potential sex discrimination lawsuit. 

    Employers have to navigate a myriad of state and federal laws when developing their personnel policies, including their parental leave policies, and are advised to work closely with their employment counsel in doing so. 

    For more information contact:
    Gary E. Scalabrini, Esq.
    Gibbs Giden Locher Turner Senet & Wittbrodt LLP 
    1880 Century Park East 12th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA 90067
    email: gscalabrini@gibbsgiden.com
    The content contained herein is published online by Gibbs Giden Locher Turner Senet & Wittbrodt LLP (“Gibbs Giden”) for informational purposes only, may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements, and does not constitute legal advice. Do not act on the information contained herein without seeking the advice of licensed counsel. For specific questions about any of the content discussed herein or any of the content posted to the Gibbs Giden website please contact the article attorney author or send an email to info@gibbsgiden.com. The transmission of information by email, over the Gibbs Giden website, or any transmission or exchange of information over the Internet, or by any of the included links is not intended to create and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. For a complete description of the terms of use of this information and the Gibbs Giden website please see the Legal Notices section at https://www.gibbsgiden.com/legal-disclaimer/. This publication may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part without written consent of the firm. 
    Copyright 2015 Gibbs Giden Locher Turner Senet & Wittbrodt LLP ©