Can Mark Zuckerberg’s Paternity Leave Set New Workplace Trends?

New paternal leave policies are comingMark Zuckerberg, the billionaire creator of Facebook, is taking some time off work to welcome his daughter into the world. Zuckerberg’s decision to take parental leave could affect workplaces around the country, and might help eliminate stigma for new mothers and fathers.

According to a recent New York Times article, men may feel social pressure to avoid taking paid paternity leave. Statistics used in the article describe how two-thirds of men only took one week or less time off when their children were born. These social norms can have implications in the workplace, and men who take paternity leave may suffer lower earnings and be less likely to be promoted.

California Parents Can Take Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave

California allows four months of paid leave for parents, and is one of only three states with paid parental leave laws. However, even with protective laws in place, new fathers take considerably less time off than new mothers. Zuckerberg will be taking two months of paid paternity leave, which is far above the national average. In many ways, he is setting an example not only for his own company, but for the nation as a whole.

Paid family leave in California became a state law in 2002. Eligible employees who are discriminated against can file reports with the Department of Labor. If the Department of Labor ignores requests, employees may be able to file a lawsuit against their employer. Don’t allow social norms and stigma keep you from raising your children.