How to Inform Your Boss About Your Paternity Leave When Your Boss Sucks

Even if your company offers paternity leave (which would put you in the minority) and you’ve decided to actually take it (which would make you a bearded unicorn) that doesn’t mean that announcing it will always be as easy as shouting: “Stepping out for lunch, Dan! Want a turkey club?” Some bosses are not great people and they don’t care about such things as family life. And, in that case, asking for paternity leave will be a tense dance with your supervisor around what might seem like it should be a basic human right. It’s hard, but it’s also the truth. As such, it’s best to deploy some tact during the initial conversation. “Frame it as a win for your boss,” says Stewart D. Friedman, a business professor at Wharton, founding director of Wharton’s Work/Life Integration Project, and host of the podcast ‘Work and Life’ “It’s a matter of engaging in a conversation about how do we make this work for all of us.”

Get the Conversation Started ASAP

Typically, you wait until your wife is three months along before telling anyone. And right after you make phone calls to your college roommate and mother-in-law, you should tell your boss, says Friedman. “Once you’re public, why not get the process started?” he says.

Approach the Situation Gingerly

Yes, you’re having a child. And while this is an incredible, important, life-changing moment for you, it isn’t for your boss. “You cannot have a sense of entitlement about this,” Friedman says. “You’re not going in there and saying, Okay boss, here’s the deal.” Instead, Friedman insists you need to approach the situation with…

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