The pitfalls of maternity leave in America have been endlessly chronicled. It is no secret that much like our political system, medical system, and retirement system, our system for parental benefits is laughable. If maternity leave is laughable, paternity leave is a travesty.
66 nations guarantee new fathers paid leave. The United States is not one of these.
31 nations offer 14 weeks or more of paid leave to new fathers. The United States is not one of these.
American dads get no love.
Being granted paid paternity leave in America is a crapshoot, based entirely on where you live and how large of a company you work for. 14 states have laws for both mom and dad. 18 states have laws for mom. 18 states have nothing above the federal regulation for either parent.
Fathers are viewed as providers, not caregivers. If you think that American mothers get the shaft, then fathers get the sac.
So how do you take paternity leave? The mechanics of it are actually very simple if you live in a state that legally recognizes paid paternity leave. If you don’t, then more than likely you as the new father will be forced into using some combination of sick/vacation time.
For brevity sake, we will not dissect this state-by-state. However, if you plan to become a new dad seeking paid paternity leave, you’re better off moving outside the U.S.!