Last week, Netflix announced that it would expand its paid family leave policy to give new parents unlimited time off during the first year after the arrival of a new baby. This was a pretty monumental headline considering that corporations are under no obligation in New York (and in the rest of the country for that matter) to provide for paid leave to either parent/employee when a new bundle of joy enters their life.

Typically, the only option for a newborn parent is to take family leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); where companies with 50 or more employees must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for the birth and care of a newborn child.

As you can imagine, there are a ton of problems with the aforementioned law. FMLA doesn’t cover a large segment of the workforce since not everyone works for companies that employ more than 50 people. This leave is also unpaid; so for those employees that don’t have the luxury of company paid family leave, they must endure a loss of income where the need for it is heightened because of the new addition to the family.

Lately, some companies are stepping up and implementing a paid leave policy for newborn parents, but the percentage of companies that have done so in the US is alarmingly low, only 13%. As such, the only certain way to change how family leave is provided is by having a law mandate paid leave; something to consider next time you elect your representative.

Risman & Risman, P.C. is here to ensure that your employer properly follows FMLA. If you believe you or your family member was and/or has been retaliated against in the workplace for asking or taking family or medical leave, please do not hesitate to contact the employment attorneys of Risman & Risman, P.C. at (212) 233-6400 or contact us online.

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