One new father was excited for the addition to the family and attempted to take more responsibility for childcare. He took a few weeks off to bond and help his wife but was later fired. The man claims that his employer unfairly punished him for taking leave per the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA, and filed a case. California parents may be interested to learn more about the man’s struggle for fair paternity leave. 

Previously a rock star manager at a major pharmacy chain, the man knew that he wanted to spend more time at home after the birth of his second child. When he requested the leave from his supervisor, he was chided and embarrassed a bit in front of his colleagues. When the store suffered in his absence, he claims that higher-ups blamed him, and he was later fired. 

History shows that men are less likely to prevail in cases regarding paternity leave from work, but in this man’s case, he won a settlement. The pharmacy chain never admitted wrongdoing in the event of his firing but did award him a sum of an undisclosed amount. Unfortunately, he did still lose the position and is struggling to start over in his career. 

FMLA leave, in California and in all states, is offered to all individuals regardless of sex, for qualified reasons, including the birth of a child. An employer is obligated to honor the leave without retaliating against the employee. A worker who feels that they were punished or let go due to taking a needed leave of absence from work may wish to consult with an employment law attorney for an evaluation of the case. 

Source: The Guardian, “This man was just trying to be a good dad. Instead, he got fired“, Molly Redden, Dec. 6, 2017