Not everybody thinks so.
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination has announced it will apply the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act to both women and men, meaning that fathers are now eligible for eight weeks of leave just like mothers are.
This created a firestorm of sorts in the state. Many applauded the decision, while others (especially employers) were less than enthused.
"They're now saying that employers are going to be liable for violating a maternity-leave law by not giving paternity leave, and an employer would have no way of knowing this unless they went to our seminar," lawyer James W. Bucking told Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.
Massachusetts resident Dr. Gwenn O'Keefe says, "I personally think it is terrific all around -- as a mom, pediatrician and business woman. Families need that reconnection time, and men need time to adjust to being dads, too, just like moms do. Plus, many families cannot afford the extra help Mom needs those first few weeks, especially with today's economy, so it's great men can be there to pitch in. I would have loved my husband to have been able to take more time off -- but we needed his paycheck."
Many moms we talked to agreed with Dr. Gwenn, saying it would have been amazing to have their husbands at home those first eight weeks. But a few naysayers said since the dad didn't push the baby out, he shouldn't be entitled to "time off." (We don't know about you, but spending 24/7 with a crying, pooping newborn is not our idea of time off.)
What do you think...do men deserve paternity leave?