The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires covered employers to provide eligible employees with legally protected unpaid leave for the birth and care of a child. Beyond that, however, there is no federal requirement that employers provide paid parental leave, or leave that exceeds the FMLA’s limits.
Employers that elect to provide parental leave more generous than required by the FMLA, and in particular paid leave benefits, can face legal risks, however. This risk is graphically illustrated by the recent $5 million settlement of a putative class action lawsuit in which a male employee alleged sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act because his employer’s parental leave policy presumed that men would be non-primary caregivers and thus discriminatorily gave men less parental leave.
Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.