Maternity/Paternity Leave And/or Sick Time

Updated on July 15, 2014
M.S. asks from Houston, TX
16 answers

Good day everyone! I work in HR within the Oil/Gas industry. My colleagues and I are working on rewriting a couple of sections of our time off policy. I wanted to ask working parents, does your company offer paternity leave and if so how much time off, is it paid or unpaid? Also, we don't offer maternity leave per say. At my company it all falls under our paid sick leave. If you work for a company who has a separate maternity leave practice or policy, I'd like to know how much time the company provides and if it's paid or unpaid. Does it run concurrent with FMLA? It's not necessary to let me know the name of your company. Just wanting to get ideas. We are changing some things for retention purposes.

Thank you all in advance!!

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answers from Iowa City on

I had 2 weeks paid maternity, and as many weeks as I wished for unpaid maternity leave. My husband had 2 weeks paid paternity, 6 weeks total leave. Neither place of employment was subject to FMLA.


answers from Norfolk on

Where I worked you were entitled to 12 weeks off (as per FMLA) for birth or adoption per year.
If you saved up vacation/sick time then you'd be paid otherwise it was unpaid leave.
Paternity leave was offered but not a lot of fathers took advantage of it.
Upper level management could sometimes negotiate 6 months leave or sabbatical (unpaid).

What we (USA) have parental leave wise doesn't compare to other industrialized nations - we're dead last and on par with a few 3rd world nations.

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answers from Washington DC on

As an adoptive parent through foster care, I would encourage your company to include language regarding foster / adoption under your maternity / paternity policy. Bonding with foster kids or adopted children is just as important as bonding with biological children.

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answers from Orlando on

my company uses FMLA (allowed up to 12 weeks unpaid) - and we also have a short term disability plan that covers 5 weeks 100% paid of the 1st 12 weeks for a regular birth , 7 weeks for c-section. I believe if the Dr says you must be out longer it might go into long term dis (66% pay) disability leave & FMLA run concurrently. And we have no paternity leave :( ... pretty sure the dad can take advantage of the FMLA but there is no pay for them.

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answers from San Francisco on

The best company I ever worked for was based in France. The maternity leave policy was helpful. The way it worked was that you would apply for CA long-term disability coverage. This would pay around, I don't know, $400 a week or so? It's a sliding scale, but I want to say it tops out around $400/week if you make anywhere north of $40K/yr or so. Anyway, then the company would kick in and cover the rest of your pay, so that essentially you were still getting paid your full salary while you were on leave. This continued from the time your doctor signed you out of work (for me, I worked up until a few days before my daughter was born), until 6-8 weeks after delivery (whenever your doctor released you back to work). IF you wanted to take the rest of the FMLA time off, of course you could do that, but it was unpaid so almost nobody chose to do that. The alternative there, of course, was that if you had some saved vacation time, you could elect to use that during FMLA, and then you'd receive your paycheck as usual. I did have one friend who took the full FMLA unpaid, and then took her saved vacation after that, so she ended up having nearly 6 months off with her baby. They held her job for her. (This was 13 years ago, and she still works there today, so their leap of faith worked out really well! This type of policy makes for very dedicated employees!) It was really nice of them, I thought, to make it so that the weeks after the baby was born were not financially stressful.

Now I own my own company, and my employees are all male (construction company), so the issue of maternity leave has not come up. However, if and when it does, I will certainly try to match the coverage that I myself enjoyed so much when I worked for that French company. As it is, we do not have a set number of days off. If the guys ask for days off, I try to give the days to them. They work really hard when they're at work, and nobody has abused the policy so I haven't had to put any further restrictions on it.

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answers from Dallas on

Paternity - paid, 2 weeks, can be taken anytime in the year after birth.

Maternity - paid under short term disability, concurrent with FMLA, up to 12 weeks paid with doctor's note.

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answers from Dallas on

Try wikipedia:

Different states require different amounts of leave are offered. Texas has no such requirement. If you are changing amounts of leave to increase retention you might want to compare your company to the states that would likely employ workers in a similar field.

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answers from Chattanooga on

I think paid maternity leave is a luxury most of us would love! Going without a paycheck for so long is a huge financial burden on families who are already neck deep in he costs of prenatal care and getting all the needed supplies for the new baby, then child care for when they are able to return to work.

If it can't be paid, it should at least be considered separate than sick leave... Giving birth isn't an illness, but it is a legitimate reason to miss work. Especially considering that with a child, the parent could really be put into a pinch if they had used up all their sick leave after a pregnancy, only to actually get sick (or the child gets sick) and be penalized for not having any hours left to take off. Those first weeks are so hard, and so important in bonding, establishing nursing routines, building milk supply, and just plain adjusting to the new household size. Especially for mothers who have delivery complications, and may need to bundle the sick and maternity leave together. (I had complications with my delivery, and was not able to return to work for a little over 3 months. The corporate office laid me off for it, but luckily my boss hired me back when I was medically cleared) some babies spend months in the NICU, with maternity being used up before baby even has a chance to go home. I'm sure it would be nice for those mothers to have the option to use their sick leave to get some home-time with their babies before going back to work as well.

The places I have worked usually have unpaid separate maternity leave, following the basic FMLA.

My husband's job gave him 1 week paid paternity.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

So glad to hear your company is taking this step--it makes a huge difference for employees who are becoming parents. My institution finally developed a policy in 2004; I was actually on the committee which created it, and then got to test drive it in 2005 with our second child. Our policy is not actually a maternity/paternity leave policy explicitly; it is family leave, so someone can use it to care for any sick family member or a new child (adopted/birth).

The leave is unpaid for staff; if they are giving birth and therefore will have short term disability, they will get paid for that time period, but any leave beyond that medical leave is unpaid. Adopters therefore have no paid leave. For teaching faculty, it is paid leave if s/he knows they will be gone for at least 3 weeks of the semester and therefore will not be assigned teaching duties for that semester. Personally, I think unpaid family leave is kind of unfair because many people can't save up months' worth of salary so they can live during that time, and most other countries provide paid leave. But that's another issue. Good luck with figuring out how to make life better for members of your company! I do think it will help with retention and morale.

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answers from New York on

Mine offers 8 weeks paid paternity leave for employees who have been with the company over 1 year.
It offers FMLA unpaid, and 6-8 weeks paid for maternity leave (depending on v or C).

At the time I had DS (2010), paternity was 2 weeks of family bonding time, and the maternity leave pay was pro-rated depending on your length of employment. it was also coupled with state short term disability benefits which you were not allowed to aggregate to create a winfall.

I am not sure what the reimbursement rates are on maternity or paternity, currently.

F. B.



answers from Washington DC on

Many companies offer 2 weeks of paternity leave or at least offer fathers FMLA benefits same as mothers. I received 6 weeks' short term disability (not full pay) after 2 weeks of my own PTO (full pay) and then used unpaid leave per FMLA to reach 12 weeks after the birth of our daughter. It was all part of the 12 weeks offered by FMLA. If I'd had a c-section, it would have been 8 weeks. They also sent us a very nice baby gift basket.

IMO, if you want to retain parents, family-friendly policies are key. Like allowing parents to use sick leave to care for children (or anyone to care for a spouse or sick parent), or having a leave bank for anyone to use (my DH pays in 1 hr of his leave per year to be able to pull from the bank should he need to). Policies like FMLA and leave banks are also not exclusive to parents.



answers from Hartford on

6-8 wks depending on the delivery, with short term disability up prior to delivery if there are complications. Paternity does not exist. We do get FMLA for total of 16 wks in our state. Our country is so far behind the times when it comes to maternity leave compared to other countries.



answers from Jacksonville on

My company offers maternity and paternity leave, 12 weeks concurrent with FMLA. We're able to use our sick and vacation leave. Also, if both parents work for the company, the 12 weeks is combined, meaning mom can take all or dad can take all or they can split it some way, but the total is 12 weeks not 24.



answers from Boston on

Great question!

My company offers 2 weeks of Paid Parental Leave. For mothers who give birth, we first get paid for 6 weeks of short-term disability (I believe that can be extended for up to 2 more weeks for c-section recovery or other complications), then can use the two weeks of PPL, then can use any other vacation days, personal days, etc. and can borrow against future vacation days for the year if needed as well. So in essence, most mothers are able to cobble together 12 weeks of paid time off.

The PPL would also apply to fathers as well as mothers who did not give birth (adoptive mothers or wives/partners of another woman who did give birth), and those folks could also tag on vacation time to extend their leave.

This all runs concurrent with FMLA.



answers from Kansas City on

I work in the front office of a company that does manufacturing. They take out a short term disability policy on all employees at no cost to the employee, and one thing it covers is 6-8 weeks maternity leave at full pay, depending on vaginal or caesarian delivery. We're also allowed to take 6 additional weeks unpaid for a total of 12, under FMLA. I'm currently on week 10, and I can tell you, having those first 6 weeks paid was amazing. When I had my daughter, all 12 weeks was unpaid, except the first week they made me use up all of my vacation time. With this company, I could use my vacation time or not, I chose to use it so I had 7 weeks paid instead of just 6, since I was gone for most of the summer I knew I wouldn't be taking an additional vacation this year.

My husband's company does not offer any sort of paid paternity leave, but he can take unpaid time or use his personal days. He took the first week off with his personal days for both of our babies.


answers from Chicago on

Paternity leave: 1 day for each year of employment. Up to 3 years. Paid.
(and yes, we consider this to be an absolutely joke in our company)

Maternity leave: runs concurrent with FMLA, up to 8 weeks paid. (It used to be 12 weeks, but dropped in 2009 due to poor economy. We have yet to see it return to the old policy.)

Compensation depends on tenure.
6 mos to 5 yrs employment = 50% of payout of total compensation (ex: includes commission and bonuses) based on previous year
5-10 yrs employment = 60% payout of total comp
10+ yrs employment = 70% payout of total comp

Vacation time can also be taken to extend leave, and that is paid out at 100% to the employee at PTO. Otherwise, sick and vacation time accrue as normal during leave and are not impacted by leave.

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