For Tech Dads, Is Paternity Leave Risky? - InformationWeek

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For Tech Dads, Is Paternity Leave Risky?
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Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
11/19/2014 | 8:06:46 PM
Re: no stigma to having a family
@Ashu001: I appreciate your perspective and applaud it. However, I do think there needs to be a national discussion that addresses both the cultural and legal issues around paternity leave. right now, according to federal law one is entitled to 12 weeks of Family Medical Leave above and beyond one's accrued vacation or sick time. However, that leave is unpaid leave. I agree in theory a Dad could save up all his vacation and personal days and, in most companies, manage at least 2-4 weeks off, but any more time than that would fall under the Famiy Medical Leave Act and would be unpaid time. Under that act, the company is required to keep "a" job for you, but doesn't have to guarantee that you get back the exact job that you left when you took the time This law applies equally to men & women, while individual companies will set their own maternity/paternity policies. IMHO men and women should have equal time off from their places of work, but most policies allow more time for Moms than Dads. Ant that's not even getting into the social stigma and career risks. Again in theory it's true that a Dad should put family first, but sometimes putting family first means making sure that you are earning enough to support them. Lots of gray areas IMHO.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
11/19/2014 | 2:31:30 PM
Re: I would think the Tech sector was be at a decreased risk here...
@Lorna

I am sometimes tempted to drive over to his office in the middle of the day, wait until it looks like he's deep in concentration, then walk in and ask if we have any more milk.

That's awesome! You should totally try that one day ; )
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
11/19/2014 | 11:29:46 AM
Re: I would think the Tech sector was be at a decreased risk here...
Lorna,

For sure ,That is the smart way of looking at things here.

LOL!!!

Ashish.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
11/19/2014 | 10:52:00 AM
Re: I would think the Tech sector was be at a decreased risk here...
@Ashish - The problem half resolved itself when my daughter went off to college! When she & my husband are home and I need to focus, I have been known to put on my headset and pretent I am on a call. But you're right, family comes first, so all in all, I try to be grateful that I have loved ones to interrupt me :-D
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
11/19/2014 | 10:44:37 AM
Re: corporation vs. tech
soozyg,

I don't think it matters so much whether you work for a Large Corporation or a startup.

What matters most is YOU.

Do you feel its important as a New Father to take a Paternity Break?

If yes,you will definitely take it.Irrespective of what others think about it.

What will happen when you come back to work? A little bit of sniggering and Gentle Ribbing for a while?

Then they will remember something else and forget about your Leave.

However,You will go away from the experience a much happier and more fulfilled person.

Regards

Ashish.

 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
11/19/2014 | 10:30:45 AM
Re: I would think the Tech sector was be at a decreased risk here...
Drew,

Have to agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly.

Even if the Company does'nt give you the level of Leave you want as a Father you should take it on your own.

That's the responsible thing to do here.

And I don't think you should feel guilty of taking the right decision here.

 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
11/19/2014 | 10:26:43 AM
Re: Realism on paternity leave
Laurianne,

Do you really feel most Companies(especially large Corporations) treat you as Human Beings today?

I don't think so.

Especially if you are'nt in the Top Tier I see very little Humanity per se from them.

The Bottomline I feel is you have to make time for stuff you feel is important in your life.

Is earning that extra 10%-20% more if you take a month off for paternity leave(in a Year) really that important for you and your family?

Can you buy one Less iThingy per year or take one less vacation per year or delay buying a new car by 6 months more instead?

If you can manage you should do it.

This is the way I strongly believe every Dad should look at the situation.

Regards

Ashish.

 
Ashu001
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50%
Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
11/19/2014 | 10:11:08 AM
Re: I would think the Tech sector was be at a decreased risk here...
Lorna,

Oh man!

You have really-really hit in on the head here!

As someone who constantly works from home(primarily to beat the time & Money wasted commuting);I can't tell you how many times I wish I could lock myself up in my Room to get things done on time !!!

Unfortunately,when you have family life;you have to make time for them whether you like it or not!

I try very hard but I don't think I have found the Ideal Work-Life Balance.Have you?

Regards

Ashish.
Ashu001
IW Pick
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0%
Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
11/19/2014 | 10:06:00 AM
Re: no stigma to having a family
,

SusanN,

I am sitting here,scratching my head wondering why on Earth do you need-"A National Discussion" around this issue.

I am not disputing this is an important and vital issue but its something which every Individual should make a Decision on their own.

Are their kids important to them?

I am sure,the Answer is Yes-Then Take sometime off accordingly.

Splitting the load with the Mother of the baby makes immense sense and it helps give both parents an immense sense of joy regarding the Magic that is parenthood.

What is your company gonna do if you take say a month off after your Kid is born?They can't fire you(if you are a Permanent Employee).

At the max they can slow down your Career Progression a little.

So what?

What is more important for you as a parent-Spending time with your Kid when he/she needs it or earning a few extra bucks for more Materialistic iThingys???

From where I sit the Decision is an easy one to make(as I have never really been attached to materialistic things).

Regards

Ashish.
Ashu001
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50%
Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
11/19/2014 | 9:57:10 AM
This is largely an American Problem
Guys,

I was reading a great article on the BBC on a similar issue recently-www.bbc.com/capital/story/20141106-the-no-vacation-nation

They called America;the "No Vacation Nation" because it is'nt compulsary for Organizations to offer their Employees Paid Leave as against most of rest of the Developed World where some Paid Vacation days are guaranteed in their labor laws(usually a MINIMUM of 30 days /year).


This problem is not going to go away or reduce in the coming days either as more and more Labor in America is either Part-time or on Contract Labor who don't get the same Rights as Permanent Workers.

Its how Corporate America works today unfortunately.Keep Squeezing the Employee until they quit on their own and then replace them with someone else.As most IT labor force also works by the same rules you can't blame men from not taking enough time off as "Paternity Leave".

What's the solution?

Take Time off whether or not its paid for when you feel you are at your Wits end.

In the case of parenting ;the Men should also take time off;maybe not at the same time as the Mother but at a time which helps them to relieve the immense strain there is on New Moms.

Regards

Ashish.

 
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