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Paternity leave not accessible for all men

Many fathers in Texas look forward to bonding with their infant in the first days and weeks of their child’s life. FindLaw says that while many men want to be at home with their families after a child’s birth, many do not take much time off.

While some people may think that every father can take time off to be with his family, this is not always the case. Fathers must qualify for paternity leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Men typically must work in a public school or for either the federal and state government to qualify for this time off, and they usually receive 12 weeks off at most. 

However, paternity leave is not always available to all men. WhatToExpect.com says that part-time workers are often not offered this time off. Some men turn down paternity leave because it is sometimes unpaid. A 2014 survey reported that receiving 70 percent of their current salary would prompt 86 percent of fathers to take paternity leave. Companies usually decide whether to offer paid paternity leave, and many states do not have laws about paid family leave.

Because of this, many new fathers take only two weeks off from work and usually use their sick leave and vacation days in place of paternity leave. Taking paternity leave can have long-term benefits for both men and their families, though. Fathers can learn the skills they need to take care of an infant and help their spouse with household chores. Additionally, paternity leave allows both parents to have time to relax and offers the opportunity to meet with other new parents and share experiences and tips.

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