No Paternity in Baseball? The Debate Continues...

Posted on 04-08-2014 by
Tags: career balance , Trending News & Topics , paternity , career , career management , trending news , work-life balance

By now you have probably heard the news about New York Mets' Daniel Murphy’s decision to take a short paternity leave for the birth of his son using Major League Baseball's paternity leave policy, and as a result, Murphy missed 2 games. While experts suggest Murphy’s decision is a sign of a new battle brewing over gender stereotypes among dads, it's no surprise researchers have said this kind of backlash is pretty common in other workplaces as well.

“It's a knockdown, drag-out battle about what it means to be a good man and a good father,” said Joan C. Williams, who runs the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

But how is Maternity Leave different from paternity leave? According to an article via FindLaw, some employers only offer paid maternity leave and not paternity leave. An example referenced states, “Ford gives eight weeks of paid maternity leave to new moms, but not to dads. Under the law, this is allowed.” The article goes on to say that “it is illegal, however, for employers to fire a woman or deny her a job promotion for getting pregnant and asking for maternity leave, which can be considered gender discrimination because only women can become pregnant. On the other hand, for paternity leave, if the company you work for isn't covered by the FMLA, then it may notbe considered discrimination to fire a new dad who takes unauthorized time off.”

With all of the arguments, one thing is clear more conversations around this subject will definitely unfold in the coming days and months. Obviously, Daniel Murphy isn't the first MLB player to take time off for his family, and, in fact, ESPN reported Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins also went on paternity leave during the week of April 2.

What are your thoughts? Is this only now a topic because of the involvement of these high-profile dads or do you think Daniel Murphy’s decision has started a precedent that will keep a focus on this topic? 

Photo courtesy: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

Citation reference: NBC News

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