Paid Parental Leave

Policy no. IV-14
Effective date: 11/01/2008
Scope: Staff eligible for FMLA Leave for childbirth or parenting of newborn or newly adopted child, Categories 1, 2, and 3
Exclusions: Faculty; Staff who do not meet FMLA eligibility requirements


Policy Statement

Case Western Reserve University recognizes the need to support employees as they balance career, childbirth, and family life.  This paid parental leave policy addresses family and work-life balance as legitimate, important, and vital to the success of the university.  This policy allows for a specified period of paid leave to be taken within 12 months following the birth or adoption of a child and is administered in conjunction with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).  Paid parental leave will run concurrently with FMLA leave and is limited to a total of six weeks per birth/adoption event or nine weeks if both parents/partners are employees of Case (six weeks for the birth mother or primary care-giver and three weeks for the other parent, including a domestic partner, or one who is not the primary care-giver).

FMLA requires Case to provide up to 12 work weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to “eligible” employees for certain family and personal medical reasons.  To be “eligible” for FMLA leave, an employee must meet the following minimum requirements: be employed by Case at least 12 months prior to the commencement of the leave and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period prior to the leave.  The general FMLA provisions are posted in the Human Resources Department, Room 304 Crawford Hall and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Room 310 Adelbert Hall and in the HR Policy No. IV-8, Absence and Leaves for Personal Medical, Family Medical, and Parenting Reasons under Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA Leave Policy).

As provided in HR Policy No. IV-8, the FMLA Leave Policy, an employee may draw upon the 12-week allowance either intermittently or in total over a 12-month period based on the eligibility date.  “Eligibility date” refers to the date of the employee’s first FMLA leave within the previous 12 months.  For example, if an employee has taken 8 weeks of leave during the past 12 months, an additional 4 weeks of leave may be taken.  If an employee has used 4 weeks beginning February 1, 4 weeks beginning June 1, and 4 weeks beginning December 1, the employee would not be entitled to any additional leave until after February 1, of the following year.  See policy and procedure IV-8, 8a, Absence and Leaves for Personal Medical, Family Medical, and Parenting Reasons Under the Family Medical Leave Act.

The purpose of this policy is to provide additional paid time off that can be taken by the birth mother, parent, or adoptive parent to recover from childbirth, or to care for a new child as a result of childbirth or adoption.  Any leave for parenting must be completed within 12 months of the date of birth or placement of a child.  Utilizing paid parental leave will not have a negative impact on employment status and may be combined with other employee earned paid time off, i.e., paid sick and/or vacation time, to achieve the maximum amount of paid time off from work.  Intermittent leave for parenting due to childbirth or adoption is subject to approval by the supervisor in consultation with Employee Relations.  Employees who require intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule must try to schedule their leaves so that they will not disrupt the department’s operations.

Overview of Benefit

Eligible employees may receive paid parental leave for any of the following up to a maximum of six (6) weeks of paid parental leave under this policy for birth mothers and primary care givers AND up to three (3) weeks of paid parental leave for other parents, including domestic partners, who are non-primary care givers as follows:

►  Up to six (6) weeks paid parental leave to the birth mother to recover from childbirth and/or to care for and bond with the newborn within 12 months of birth; OR
►  Up to six (6) weeks paid parental leave to the primary care giver to care for and bond with a newly adopted child within 12 months from placement.

AND IF APPLICABLE

►  Up to three (3) weeks paid parental leave to the other parent, including a domestic partner, to care for and bond with a newborn child within 12 months of birth; OR
►  Up to three (3) weeks paid parental leave to the other parent, including a domestic partner, who is not the primary caregiver to care for and bond with a newly adopted child within 12 months from placement.
►  If both parents/partners are employees, the maximum paid parental leave for both employees together is nine (9) weeks (6 weeks for the birth mother or primary care-giver and 3 weeks for the other parent, including a domestic partner, who is not the primary care-giver).
►  No more than 6 weeks of paid parental leave is provided per employee per birth or adoption event.  The number of children born or adopted at the same time will not affect the length of the paid parental leave for that event.
►  Employees on paid parental leave:
          ▪remain in their Benelect program according to Benelect plan provisions
          ▪continue to accrue service time toward benefits based on active service.
►  Once paid leave is exhausted, employees may continue on unpaid leave if appropriate documentation has been submitted, up to a total leave time of twelve (12) weeks.  Employees on an unpaid leave:
          ▪must have exhausted all paid parental leave, sick pay (birth mother), and vacation pay
          ▪remain in the Benelect program for 12 weeks according to plan provisions,
          ▪upon return to work, adjustments will be made to their paycheck for Benelect payments made on their behalf.

See policy and procedure IV-8, 8a, Administering Leaves for Personal Medical, Family Medical, and Parenting Reasons Under the Family Medical Leave Act.

Benefits for Birth Mothers, Categories 1, 2, and 3

FMLA-qualifying birth mothers are eligible to receive six weeks of paid parental leave after the birth of their child(ren).  When the need for parenting leave is known, the birth mother must notify her supervisor and submit both the Leave of Absence (LOA) form and the Certificate of Health Care Provider (CHP) to Employee Relations thirty (30) days in advance of the leave.

Any leave which commences prior to delivery due to a serious health condition is considered personal medical leave and must be authorized by a health care provider.  Paid parental leave will not be available for personal medical leaves taken prior to the birth or adoption of the child; the employee would be required to exhaust any available sick and/or vacation time before commencing an unpaid leave.  In this instance, employees in categories 2 and 3 who are on a personal medical leave due to a serious health condition unrelated to childbirth should apply for Short Term Disability benefits once they have met the 2-week waiting period and have exhausted all their paid time off.

Birth mothers have the option of electing to use paid parental leave in addition to their sick and vacation time at any point after delivery during the leave.

As provided in policy and procedure IV-8, 8a, Administering Leaves for Personal Medical, Family Medical, and Parenting Reasons Under the Family Medical Leave Act, once the mother is released by her physician to return to work, she may take the parenting leave intermittently only with supervisor’s approval in consultation with Employee Relations.  Employees who require intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule must try to schedule their leaves so that they will not disrupt the department’s operations.  Intermittent time off will be paid parental leave or paid by sick and/or vacation; no unpaid intermittent time off may be taken until paid parental leave and sick and vacation are exhausted.  Any parenting leave must be taken within 12 months of the child’s birth.

 

Benefits for Other Parents (Including Domestic Partners) –  Birth of Child, Categories 1, 2, and 3

Other FMLA-qualifying parents (including domestic partners) are eligible to receive three weeks of paid parental leave after the birth of their child(ren).  When the need for parenting leave is known, the parent must notify the supervisor and submit the LOA form to Employee Relations thirty (30) days in advance of the leave.  After delivery, parents (including domestic partners) must provide a copy of the proof of birth to Employee Relations.  Any parenting leave must be taken within 12 months of the child’s birth.  Employees on an unpaid leave must have exhausted all paid parental leave and vacation pay.  Parents (including domestic partners) may take the parenting leave intermittently only with supervisor’s approval in consultation with Employee Relations.  Employees who require intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule must try to schedule their leaves so that they will not disrupt the department’s operations.  Intermittent time off will be paid parental leave or vacation; no unpaid intermittent time off may be taken until paid parental leave and vacation are exhausted.

 

Benefits for Adoptive Parents, Categories 1, 2, and 3

FMLA-qualifying employees who legally adopt a child are eligible to receive paid parental leave.  The primary care-giver may receive up to six weeks of paid parental leave to care for and bond with a newly adopted child(ren).  In addition, the primary care-giver has the option to use up to six weeks of their unused sick days and vacation day balance.  The non-primary care-giver may receive up to three weeks of paid parental leave to care for and bond with a newly adopted child(ren).  Paid parental leave is limited to a total of nine weeks if both parents/partners are employees of Case (six weeks for the primary care-giver and three weeks for the non-primary care-giver).  When the need for parenting leave is known, the adoptive parent must notify the supervisor and submit the LOA form to Employee Relations thirty (30) days in advance of the leave.  Upon placement for adoption, adoptive parents must provide a copy of the proof of placement to Employee Relations.  Any parenting leave for adoption must be taken within 12 months of the child’s placement.  Employees on an unpaid leave must have exhausted all paid parental leave, and vacation pay.  Adoptive parents may take the parenting leave intermittently only with supervisor’s approval in consultation with Employee Relations.  Employees who require intermittent leave or a reduced work schedule must try to schedule their leaves so that they will not disrupt the department’s operations.  Intermittent time off will be paid parental leave or paid by sick days (primary care-giver) and/or vacation; no unpaid intermittent time off may be taken until paid parental leave and vacation are exhausted.

Policy Administration: Joint responsibility of supervisor with the Employee Relations Office.

References: Policy IV-6 Vacation Days, Policy IV-8, Absence and Leaves for Personal Medical, Family Medical, and Parenting Reasons Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, Administering Leaves for Personal Medical, Family Medical, and Parenting Reasons Procedure (IV-8a), Policy IV-9 and Policy IV-10, Sick Days During Absences for Personal Medical, Family Medical, and Parenting Reasons, Adoption Leave (IV-13).