What About Paternity Leave?
Q. My husband's firm doesn't offer paternity leave, but I'm having twins and I need him home for the first few weeks. He's afraid he'll lose standing at his good-ol'-boy company if he even asks for time off. No one's ever done it.
A. Sounds like he's working for someone who has some outdated ideas about fatherhood. And your husband's not alone -- despite the fact that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to workers regardless of their sex. But don't be intimidated. Ask your husband to check with human resources to see if he's entitled to government-mandated 12 weeks unpaid leave. If not, he should use vacation days. "It might take a little courage, and he may suffer somewhat for it when he goes back to work, but if he's a highly valued employee, it'll soon be forgotten," says Robert Drago, PhD, professor of labor studies at Penn State University. "Not only will your husband be your hero, he'll also be an inspiration for the next new dad at his office."