June 14, 2013 at 1:13 PM ET
A father’s exhausting, exhilarating experience of welcoming his first child into the world should not be followed by a call from the office wondering when he’ll be back at his desk, according to our readers.
A TODAY Money story on how paid paternity leave is still a rarity in most workplaces prompted many readers to weigh in on whether dads should get some time off from the office.
Of the nearly 11,000 people who took our vote, only 4 percent said a dad shouldn’t get any paternity leave. About 43 percent thought dads should get two weeks, while 36 percent said paternity leave should be the same as maternity leave.
Most readers also thought that it wouldn’t be viewed negatively for a dad to take some time off for his newborn.
One reader called it “archaic” for employers not to offer paid paternity leave – something that a slim minority of employers offer now.
“I don't know why there is a stigma attached to dads who want to be there for their partner and new baby. In the real world dads matter and should be allowed to help take care of mom and new baby for some time after delivery,” the reader wrote.
For another reader, a lack of support for paternity leave was a deal breaker.
“When my youngest daughter was born, I took 4 days off. My boss at the time told me that was too long and my family couldn't be more important than my job. I started sending out resumes about 2 hours later,” one reader wrote.
But not everyone agreed. One reader said that if parents are given time off, then people who choose not to have kids should also get some vacation option to compensate.
“(A)s a single working individual I want to remind you that having a child was your choice. And as a single, I find it another unfair benefit. While you take those weeks of paid leave we will be covering the workload,” the reader wrote.
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