Florida Parental Leave Continuance Rule, Rule 2.570, FMLA, Florida, Gender Equity, Women in the Law, FAWL, Maternity Leave, Paternity Leave, Gender Discrimination, Labor and Employment Law, Employment Discrimination


Although women are enrolling in law school and joining the legal profession in significant numbers, law firms are struggling to retain female lawyers. This poses a significant challenge to achieving gender equity at the highest levels of the legal profession, prompting several important questions: Why are women leaving the profession early; what policies or changes should be implemented to address this problem; and who is best suited to lead these efforts? One of the main reasons women leave the profession early is due to their disproportionate caregiving responsibilities. In response, both public and private measures have been introduced to address this issue. The Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) was introduced to help equalize and destigmatize caregiving responsibilities between genders, while law firms are offering competitive paid family leave benefits to attract and retain female talent. Florida has taken a noteworthy step in addressing this problem with the introduction of Rule 2.570, widely referred to as the Parental Leave Continuance Rule, which was officially enacted in 2019 and came into effect on January 1, 2020. This presumptive three-month continuance rule requires judges to grant a lead attorney’s parental leave continuance if specific conditions are met. Parental leave continuance rules like Rule 2.570 are positive steps toward achieving gender parity within the legal profession, and other states should seriously consider implementing similar measures.



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