We Help Protect
California's Employees

How does paternity leave work?

In California, the law allows fathers to take time off work after the birth of a baby or the adoption of a child. Known as paternity leave, the process is similar to the time mothers get off to allow for bonding with the baby. However, because the father does not go through the physical process of birth, the time is usually much shorter.

The California Employment Development Department explains paternity leave is available under Paid Family Leave. You will need to apply for and meet the requirements for the Paid Family Leave program.


To take paid family leave for a new child in your family, the child must arrive in the family within the past 12 months. You also must have paid into the State Disability Insurance program in the five to 18 months. Finally, you cannot have already taken more than eight weeks under Paid Family leave within the last 12 months.

There are no citizenship requirements. San Francisco workers may have additional benefits under local ordinances.


You can file your claim for Paid Family Leave through the mail or online. You will need to supply personal information and details about your request that prove you meet the eligibility requirements.

Once you make your claim and receive approval, you can manage it online. If you need to request an extension, you should be able to do that online as well. Just remember that your leave time must follow the general rules of Paid Family Leave. Your employer must comply with the request and the requirements under the law because it applies statewide.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Rss Feed