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Allowing Men to Go on Paternity Leave

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The Massachusetts State Senate recently approved legislation to ensure that men are able to take time off work when they have children and still keep their jobs, according to The Eagle Tribune. A law like this may bring up questions for Texas employment lawyers and lawmakers, because it could encourage the Lone Star state to adopt similar measures.

Under the federal Family Medical Leave Act, both men and woman are guaranteed up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave when they have children. Yet, there are many provisions under FMLA that don't allow every employee the right to take this much time off work. FindLaw states that FMLA only needs to apply to companies that have 50 or more employees. If a company is covered by FMLA, then an employee is only qualified for FMLA benefits if he or she has worked for the company for at least 12 months and has worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 months immediately prior to taking the leave.

With the Massachusetts' Maternity Leave Act, woman are currently able to take eight weeks of unpaid leave as long as they're with a company that has six or more employees. The State's Senate though, recently approved a change to the law that would allow for men to take paternity leave as well. In addition to the state of Massachusetts, The Eagle Tribune reports that 11 other states have similar laws in place. The state of Texas, however, does not have any laws in addition to FMLA that deal with maternity leave or have laws that give workers extended rights when it comes to taking maternity leave.

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