Paternity Leave in Texas

Paternity leave is a rapidly growing and expanding practice in the United States which, to the chagrin of many residents, still includes the state of Texas. It's legality, requirement by companies within the state and what is entitled to new Texas fathers will be the subject of this page.

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Some Basics on Paternity Leave in Texas and the US

In the event you are unsure what Paternity Leave even is, we’re sure you’re not alone, paternity leave is simply the father’s version of maternity leave. The right to take time off of work because you have a newborn child at home that needs looking after. Depending on the state and the company you live/work for, paternity leave could be paid or not paid.

Texas has, in particular, been a state where there’s a perceived taboo against father’s taking time off of work in order to care for a newborn. While this may be an artifact of a conservative culture that views child-rearing as a primarily female job, at least in early childhood, the appearance of the taboo is nonetheless apparent in Texas life. Texas representative Colin Allred has attempted to fix this issue legislatively by guaranteeing that any maternity leave that is eligible to one parent should be available to both parents.

However, before we move on, it’s important to note that maternity leave in Texas may not be a goal worth aspiring to. The state of Texas has no special law guaranteeing Maternity leave in the state. Since the issue is a civil rights issue in the eyes of the law it is therefore covered by federal law which states have to honor. Remember that in any civil rights issue in which the state and federal law are in conflict, the citizen of the state always gets the law that provides them the most civil rights.

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave is covered under FMLA laws for qualifying fathers. As alluded to above, this coverage may be insufficient, impractical, or unsatisfying to new fathers. This coverage is for 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Essentially this means that fathers get 12 weeks (note weeks, not months) where they cannot be terminated for claiming paternity leave. While they may keep certain benefits for this 12-week period (such as healthcare), they are not required to be paid for the time they missed off work for attending to their newborn.

Paid Paternity Leave

Currently, paid Paternity Leave is not mandatory under Texas law. This includes federal law, which the state would have to honor if federal legislation mandated that it was covered. However, this does not mean that private companies do not (or cannot) offer paternity leave in the state of Texas. Many of them have, either to make their offer more acceptable to new employees or for the moral argument (or both), begun voluntarily offering paternity leave to employees.

Texas Companies That Offer Paternity Leave

While this information may be private and confined to the employer vs employee relationship, there are a laundry list of companies that advertise paid paternity leave in the lone star state. Many of which are located in Austin, Texas which has become a veritable hub for tech, comedy, and everything in between. Some notable companies on the list include digital storage provider Drobbox, FinTech Company BlueVine, and the website builder Wix to name a few. Speaking of technology, one of the largest employers in the local area that offers paid paternity leave is the IT security firm Cloudflare which counts Texas Law Changes as one of its clients (full disclosure).

We’re still in the process of verifying and filtering out the companies who claim to offer paternity leave but we expect this list to be (hopefully) updated frequently and always expanding in length. As always, please let us know if you spot an error or outdated fact on this page. Additionally, if you work at a company not mentioned on this page (no matter how big or small) but are currently entitled to paternity leave, please let us know so we can add them to the list.