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Taking STD for my wife's pregnancy/birth Massachusetts

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  • Taking STD for my wife's pregnancy/birth Massachusetts

    I work for a company with very few policies in writing so there is a lot of grey area but... Recently 2 of my female colleagues went on STD in place of maternity leave (which the company does not offer). They were given 6 weeks at partial pay.

    My wife (who is a stay at home mom) is expecting our 2nd child in October and I have been informed that they will not offer me ANY paid paternity leave. According to MA state law a company must offer the same "paternity" benefits as they do "maternity" benefits. My employer has got around this by not offering maternity leave and instead offering short term disability based on the "physical impairment of being pregnant".

    My question is: Can I get them to give me STD based on my wife's perceived "disability"?

    I am only asking for 2 weeks (10 days) paid but I am being told I can either use my PTO time or take it unpaid. This doesn't seem to be a fair standard. Can I push back on this?

    My wife and I would appreciate any advice on this mater.
    Last edited by jquestions; 08-18-2009, 11:05 AM.

  • #2
    No. That is not at all what the MA law means. Nor is your employer "getting around" anything - what they are doing is what almost all employers do and it is 100% legal.

    Leave and disability benefits are two different things. You must be offered the same leave for paternity as maternity, that is true.

    But disability benefits, in all 50 states is not leave, but is income replacement that is ONLY available for the person who is actually disabled. There is NO state where STD benefits are available to someone who is not medically disabled.

    Your employer's position of taking PTO or unpaid time is absolutely legal under MA law.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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    • #3
      Actually CBG, CA offers Paid Family Leave that may be used for paternity leave.
      Of course we all know how my beautiful state makes labor law so easy for us HR pros

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      • #4
        I know about the paid family leave in CA (and NJ). I said that DISABILITY BENEFITS were not payable in any state to anyone but the person disabled. Different thing entirely.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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        • #5
          Sorry about that, didnt pay much attention . Guess i'll take it as a clue to go home

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          • #6
            Go right ahead. Tell your boss I gave you permission.
            The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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