Family Magazine

Did Mets Second Baseman Daniel Murphy Have a Legal Right to Take Paternity Leave at the Start of the 2014 Season?

By Upliftingfam @upliftingfam

Daniel MurphyIs your wife currently expecting? If so, did you know that you are entitled to take paternity leave? Today, I wanted to share some tips that Jeffery Killo, an experienced attorney, wrote about paternal leave for dads whether your wife is having a baby, you are adopting a child, or planning on fostering children.

New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy missed the first two games of the major-league baseball season to witness the birth of his son, Noah, and to spend an extra day with his wife, Tori, and his newborn son. Was he legally entitled to take this paternity leave, particularly at the opening of the 2014 season? Most people would not even be asking this question if Daniel Murphy were not a nationally known and highly popular sports figure or if his participation in the opening games of the MET’s season were not considered by his team members and fans to be so crucial to the season’s success. Far less controversy would also exist if Murphy had taken his paternity leave at a later time, rather than at the precise stage of the season in which he did.

Image Credit: Flicker via Creative Commons

Yet, despite all the criticism leveled at Murphy from fans and commentators,many others feel that Daniel Murphy was well within his legal rights.

Disclosure: This is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions about your company’s paternity leave, contact your human resources department or a personal-injury lawyer for more information.

Contractual Right to Paternity Leave

An employer is free to offer either paid or unpaid paternity leave to an employee, even if that paternity leave is not required under state or federal law. Murphy’s employer is among the approximately 15% of United States employers that choose to provide this benefit to their employees and can be applauded for that decision. Under the terms of >he collective bargaining agreement between the Major Baseball League (MLB) and the players’ association,Murphy is contractually entitled to take up to three days of paternity leave during the first year of his child’s life. The agreement not only allows Murphy to take this leave, but also grants him the right to designate which three days he will take. Since mothers—particularly those who deliver by Caesarian section, as Murphy’s wife, Tori,did—generally require the most support and assistance in the days immediately following childbirth, Murphy’s choice was a wise family decision as well as a legal one. Were he to have taken his leave at a later time, he would have missed these special and crucial first days of his son’s life as well as the opportunity to provide his wife with the assistance and support she deserved at that time.

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