I can only imagine the rush of emotions people feel when they are expecting their family to get a little bit bigger. Whether it's your first time becoming a parent or you've been through this before, I'd imagine you have an overwhelming feeling of happiness mixed with being absolutely terrified.

Especially if it was an unplanned baby. I could understand why that would be a major shock and something that takes a bit to sink in. One thing I've always wondered about expecting dads is how does your job handle this? Does Iowa do anything for expecting fathers?

Unsplash - Kelly Sikkema
Unsplash - Kelly Sikkema

Everyone's workplace is different and employers will all handle this a bit differently but how does Iowa handle men wanting time off to help their brand-new baby? Every family is different but it can be basically impossible for some families to have both parents not going to work and collecting a paycheck. Does Iowa offer any help for these dads?

Parental Leave Requirements

It turns out that in the state of Iowa, there is no paid leave requirement for mothers or for fathers. There really isn't much that is required by employers for new parents.

The Federal Family Medical Leave Act will provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period to care for a newborn, adopted, or foster child, according to the National Conference Of State Legislatures. This law is applied to private employers with 50 or more employees. The FMLA does allow states to change the standards for paternity leave and there are some that have done so.

According to NCSL, Washington, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, Connecticut, Colorado, California, and the District of Columbia offer paid family and medical leave.

According to HHLaw PC, under the Iowa Civil Right Act, if an employer has at least 4 employees, they must allow up to 8 weeks of unpaid leave for a pregnant employee. While Iowa does not require employers to pay employees who just had a baby, there are many businesses that see the benefit in doing so.

So do new expecting fathers receive paid medical leave in the state of Iowa? No, unless their employer chooses to do so. They are allowed up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off but who can afford to not collect a paycheck for up to 3 months? If you're paid twice a month, that's 6 paychecks! I was a bit surprised to find out that there are not any requirements for expecting mothers either. I would've surely guessed there would be at least something for moms but I would've guessed wrong.

I get married at the end of September and if my fiance and I ever want to have kids, I better start saving my money! Not only because kids are expensive in general but I might not collect a paycheck for multiple months if I want to be there for the beginning part of the baby's life.

I better dust off my employee handbook and look into this if I'm ever getting ready to be a father.

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