Staff Parental Leave for Childbirth or Adoption
Spelman College is committed to supporting staff members by providing them with the opportunity to balance professional and parental responsibilities. Staff parental leave provides time away from work for a mother, father, domestic partner, or adoptive parent to care for and bond with a newborn or newly adopted child. Paid parental leave will run concurrently with Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave.
Effective January 1, 2015, all full-time staff working at least 35 hours per workweek and who have been employed by the College for the previous 12 consecutive months and have worked for at least 1,250 hours during the prior 12 month period will be eligible for parental leave for childbirth or adoption. This policy provides paid leave to the following persons:
- Birth Mother
- Primary Caregiver ‒ A primary caregiver is a person who has primary responsibility for the care of her/his newborn or newly adopted child (less than six years of age) who is under the custody, care, and control of the person for the first time. To qualify as the primary caregiver, a person must have primary responsibility for the care of the child for at least 20 hours per week during her/his regularly scheduled work hours (i.e., Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm).
- Non-Primary Caregiver ‒ A staff member not assuming primary caregiver responsibilities.
For purposes of this policy:
A birth mother or other primary caregiver who is not working (on medical leave from her/his employer or unemployed) is presumed to be the primary caregiver unless documentation provides evidence that she/he is unable to serve as the primary caregiver.
In cases where two parents seeking leave under this policy are both Spelman College employees, only one parent may be designated as the primary caregiver.
The number of children involved in the birth/adoption does not increase the length of paid parental leave granted for that event.
Individuals adopting a spouse’s or partner’s child(ren) are not eligible for paid parental leave under this policy.
Births and/or adoptions that occurred prior to the effective date of this policy are not eligible.
While on paid parental leave, an employee may not receive additional compensation from the College.
Paid Parental Leave Benefit
Birth Mother or Primary Caregiver
Paid parental leave will be provided for up to 6 consecutive weeks beginning on the first business day immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. In cases of adoption, the paid leave benefit begins immediately upon receiving the child into the home. Paid leave will run concurrently with FMLA leave, and all weeks of paid parental leave must be used consecutively.
Paid parental leave will be provided for up to 2 consecutive weeks beginning on the first business day immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. In cases of adoption, the paid leave benefit begins immediately upon receiving the child into the home. Paid leave will run concurrently with FMLA leave, and all weeks of paid parental leave must be used consecutively.
Benefits Coverage During Leave
During the period of paid parental leave, the staff member’s benefits shall remain in effect and the employee will remain responsible for her/his portion of the applicable premium benefit costs. In addition, paid parental leave must be exhausted prior to the use of sick or vacation leave. Short-term disability benefits, if applicable, will be coordinated with the provider and payments will be based on the plan guidelines.
In accordance with the FMLA, eligible employees may take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave in a rolling 12 month period. Nothing in this policy prevents the staff member from taking any remaining FMLA leave following the expiration of the paid parental leave. (See Policy 602).
Process for 10 Month Employees
This policy is not intended to extend or provide paid leave benefits during a period when an eligible employee would not otherwise be working (i.e. during the months of June and July for 10 months employees). In cases where an employee gives birth or adopts a child within 6 weeks prior to the end of her/his regularly scheduled work period, paid parental leave will only be available from the first business day immediately following the birth or adoption of a child through the end of the regularly scheduled work period. In cases where an employee gives birth or adopts a child within 6 weeks of the start of her/his regularly scheduled work period, paid parental leave will only be available from the start of the regularly scheduled work period through 6 weeks from the first business day immediately following the birth or adoption of a child, if applicable.
- • A birth mother delivers her baby on May 1st – this 10 month employee would be eligible to receive paid parental leave only from May 2nd through May 31st (the portion of paid parental leave available in the 6 weeks prior to the expiration of the regularly scheduled work period).
- • An employee and their partner adopt a child and the child is placed in the home on July 1st – this 10 month employee would be eligible to receive paid parental leave only for the first 2 weeks in August (the portion of paid parental leave remaining in the 6 weeks following the commencement of the regularly scheduled work period).
Application for Paid Parental Leave
Eligible staff members must notify their supervisor of the intent to take leave under this policy at least 60 days in advance of the requested leave start date (or as early as possible in the planning phase of the adoption process). All leaves must be approved by the employee’s supervisor and the Office of Human Resources.
For purposes of parental leave for the birth mother, appropriate medical certification is required in accordance with the College’s FMLA policy. A non-primary caregiver also is required to provide appropriate birth or adoption documentation.
Policy No. 608 Effective Date: 1/1/2015