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4.16 Parental Leave of Absence

Origination date: 04/01/2018

Applicability: Academic Professionals, Administrators, Classified Staff, Faculty, and Service Professionals

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to allow employees who do not qualify for Family Medical Leave of Absence time away from work for the purpose of birth or adoption of a child, or if the employee is medically unable to work due to pregnancy.

Eligibility

Regular employees who are not immediately eligible for Family Medical Leave of Absence.

Qualifying Reasons

An eligible employee may request a Parental Leave of Absence for the birth or adoption of a child of the employee, or if the employee is medically unable to work due to pregnancy.  The entitlement for parental leave shall expire at the end of a twelve month period beginning on the date of such birth or placement.

Unauthorized or fraudulent use of this benefit may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Duration

An eligible employee may request up to eight work weeks of Parental Leave of Absence for the birth or adoption of a child of the employee, or if the employee is medically unable to work due to pregnancy .

Parental Leave of Absence must be taken as a continuous block of leave unless the supervisor agrees to allow intermittent or reduced schedule leave based on business need.

If the employee becomes eligible for Family Medical Leave of Absence during the period of Parental Leave of Absence the leaves of absence shall run concurrently. 

With the exception of Extended Military Leave of Absence (see policy # 4.15 ), in no instance will combined paid or unpaid leaves of absence, for which the employee is eligible, be for more than 6 months (calculated as 183 full or partial days).

Pay Status

To remain in a paid status, employees are required to report all time away from work following Human Resources Department procedures. The university will require the employee to use accrued sick and/or vacation time, as defined by policy, for all or any part of the Parental Leave of Absence period necessary to maintain a fully paid status.  Use of paid time off will occur in the order of all available sick time, if appropriate, and then vacation time.  Non-exempt employees may also use accumulated compensatory time balances after sick and vacation time are depleted.

The employee will be on an unpaid status when accrued sick and vacation time balances are depleted.

Employee Responsibilities

Requests for Parental Leave of Absence must be submitted following Human Resources Department procedures and made at least thirty days in advance of the need for leave.  Failure to follow procedures or timelines may result in the denial or delay of Parental Leave of Absence.

Employees who have requested a Parental Leave of Absence must provide Human Resources and their department up to date contact information (e-mail, phone and home address) for the duration of their leave of absence.  In addition, they must respond to inquiries from Human Resources and their department in a timely manner.

It is the employee’s responsibility to notify Human Resources and their supervisor of the intent to return to work at least two weeks prior to reporting back to work to facilitate planning and completion of paperwork.  If an employee does not return to work on the expected return date, any additional time away may be considered an unauthorized absence.

Effect on Benefits

Voluntary Benefits: The university will continue to pay the employer’s portion of voluntary benefits premiums including medical and dental insurances for the duration of the Parental Leave of Absence whether the employee is in a paid or unpaid status.  While in a paid status, premiums will continue to be collected through payroll deductions.  If the employee is in an unpaid status, premiums will be collected through personal payments.  However, if the employee’s portion of the premium payment is more than 30 days late, the university may discontinue coverage.

Leave Accruals: Vacation and sick hours will accrue while an employee is on a paid status.

Retirement: No refund of any retirement contribution is made upon the commencement of the leave, since the return of the employee is anticipated. Service credits do not accrue during any period of unpaid leave, but will commence upon the employee's return to work.

Other Benefits: The educational aid benefit remains in effect for employees during the leave period as does the use of university facilities.

Continuous Service: Computation of service dates for continuous service, vacation accrual rates, seniority, and general pay adjustments will include this leave as creditable service providing the employee returns to work on the first workday following the termination of the authorized leave.

Return to Work

The granting of Parental Leave of Absence will in most circumstances be followed by the employee’s return to their former or essentially equal position.  The practical effect of this is that the department head should hold the employee's regular position anticipating the employee's return from Parental Leave of Absence.  However, the department head can hire a temporary replacement for the duration of the leave. 

If the leave is based on the employee’s inability to work due to pregnancy, the employee is responsible for providing adequate documentation to support a return to work.

An employee who is unable to return to the full duties and schedule of their position upon expiration of the maximum leave of absence time allowed by university policy is not guaranteed continued employment.

Employees with disabilities are encouraged to consult with the Disability Resources Office regarding possible reasonable accommodation which may provide additional leave options and/or assist them to return to work.

Failure to Return or Accept Employment

An employee will be considered to have voluntarily terminated employment if they:

An employee who voluntarily terminates at the end of the Parental Leave of Absence for reasons listed above will be required to return to the university the full insurance premiums paid by the university on behalf of that employee during the period of the Parental Leave of Absence.