Human Resources

Parental Leave

Section: Human Resources Policies
Policy Name: Parental Leave
Policy Owner: Executive Vice President
Responsible University Office: Office of Human Resources
Origination Date: July 1998
Revisions: November 2009; December 17, 2009; March 2016; February 13, 2018; April 2018; July 1, 2019
Legacy Policy Number: 4-24
  1. SCOPE OF POLICYThis policy addresses the types of parental leave available to eligible employees upon the birth of their child or adoption of a child aged six (6) years or younger.
  2. DEFINITIONS
    1. Eligible Employee: Benefited employees working 30 hours or more per week, except those in positions covered by collective bargaining agreements between the University and the following representatives: AFSCME, Local 439; AFSCME, Local 3472; AAUP, University of Delaware Chapter.
    2. Family and Medical Leave: The University’s Family and Medical Leave Policy.
    3. Parental Leave: An unpaid leave of absence of up to 12 weeks within a rolling, 12-month period for eligible employees with less than 12 months of service or who are otherwise not eligible for Family and Medical Leave upon the birth of their child or placement of their adopted child aged six (6) or younger.
    4. Paid Parental Leave:  A paid leave of absence of up to eight (8) weeks within a rolling, 12-month period for eligible employees employed with the University for at least 12 months upon the birth of their child or placement of their adopted child age six (6) or younger.
  3. POLICY STATEMENTThe University of Delaware recognizes the importance of having a parental leave policy that helps employees balance the responsibilities of work and parenthood.   Eligible University employees with less than 12 months of service or who are otherwise not eligible for Family and Medical Leave may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave following the birth of their child or placement of their adopted child aged six or younger.  Eligible University employees with at least 12 months of service and who otherwise qualify for Family and Medical Leave may take up to 12 weeks of leave pursuant to the University’s Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) Policy following the birth or adoption of their child, with up to 8 weeks of such leave as Paid Parental Leave.  Short-term disability (STD) benefits may be available to some eligible employees, for instance, during a period of disability related to pregnancy or for employees recovering from childbirth. Parental leave and paid parental leave will run concurrently with STD and FMLA leave, where applicable.
  4. POLICY STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
    1. Parental Leave for eligible employees with less than twelve (12) months of service
      1. If both legal parents are eligible employees of the University, they are entitled to a combined 12 weeks of parental leave.
      2. Multiple births or adoptions will not increase the length of parental leave granted for that event (for example, birth or adoption of twins).
      3. Parental Leave will run concurrently with eligible, accrued sick leave. The University reserves the right to require a doctor’s certification at any time for the use of sick leave.
      4. Parental leave will run concurrently with STD and FMLA leave, where applicable.
      5. Employees who plan to request parental leave must notify their supervisor at least 60 days prior to the anticipated date of the leave or as soon as possible.
      6. After exhaustion of eligible, accrued sick leave, employees who wish to remain in paid status may use accrued vacation leave. After exhausting both sick and vacation leave, pursuant to the sick leave policy, any remaining portion of the leave will be unpaid.
      7. Employees may not use vacation leave to extend parental leave beyond the 12-week entitlement under this policy. Employees may request a personal leave of absence without pay after exhaustion of the 12 weeks of parental leave with the prior approval of the Vice President of Human Resources. All such leave requests beyond the 12-week parental leave shall be designated as a personal leave of absence without pay and governed by the Leave of Absence Without Pay Policy.
    2. Paid Parental Leave for eligible employees with twelve (12) months or more of service
      1. Paid parental leave must be taken during the first 8 weeks following the birth of a child or placement of a newly adopted child age six or under. The entitlement to paid parental leave shall expire at the end of the 8-week period beginning on the date of such birth or adoption.
      2. If both legal parents are eligible employees of the University, they are entitled to a combined 12 total weeks of leave pursuant to the University’s Family and Medical Leave Policy, eight (8) weeks of which would be paid as paid parental leave.
      3. Multiple births or adoptions will not increase the length of paid parental leave granted for that event (for example, birth or adoption of twins).
      4. Paid parental leave will run concurrently with STD and FMLA leave, where applicable.
      5. For STD-eligible employees, paid parental leave will cover the elimination period in the State’s STD program. The balance of the available paid parental leave will be used to supplement the State’s STD benefit, not to exceed 100% of an employee’s compensation following the birth of a child.
      6. Sick and/or vacation accrual balances will not be reduced during paid parental leave.
      7. After the exhaustion of paid parental leave, employees may use accrued sick and vacation time to extend their paid leave of absence for up to a total of 12 weeks pursuant to the University’s Family and Medical Leave Policy.
  5. PROCEDURES
    1. To apply for parental leave or paid parental leave, an employee must:
      1. Complete the Request for Parental Leave Form and submit it to his/her Human Resources (HR) Manager/Designee at least 60 days prior to the expected date of birth or adoption.
      2. Notify his/her supervisor.
      3. Employees who are eligible for STD must also initiate the STD claim process.
      4. If the employee is eligible for FMLA leave, the FMLA Notice and Medical Certification Form must be completed and submitted to his/her department’s HR Manager/Designee.
      5. Provide legal documentation of birth or adoption of a child to HR within 30 days of the birth or adoption or as soon as it becomes available. The name of the legal parent must appear on either the birth certificate, a legal document establishing paternity, or a legal document establishing adoption.
      6. Provide further notification to HR of any changes to the employee’s approved schedule or intended return-to-work date.
      7. Failure to comply with procedures listed in this section may result in delay or denial of paid parental leave.
    2. HR shall:
      1. Provide the requesting employee acknowledgement of the Paid Parental Leave request and initial approval, if applicable, within seven (7) business days of receipt.
      2. Keep the employee’s supervisor informed of any revisions to the leave request.
  6. BENEFITS CONTINUATION AND CONTRIBUTIONSThe University will continue to pay the employer portion of previously elected benefits during approved parental leave for up to 12 weeks.  The employee will remain responsible for the employee portion.  University contributions to benefit programs will stop after the 12 weeks of parental leave are exhausted. The employee will continue to earn service credit and will have retirement contributions paid by the University while on paid status, whether through paid parental leave or through the use of sick and vacation time.

    If an employee is approved to take an unpaid personal leave of absence after exhaustion of parental or paid parental leave, he/she will be required to pay the full premium cost for benefits continuation. If an employee is on unpaid status for more than 50 percent of the month, accrual of sick leave and vacation will cease. Retirement/state pension plan contributions stop while an employee is on an unpaid leave of absence.

  7. TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT

    Any unused paid parental leave will not be paid upon termination of employment. Employees who do not return to work following paid parental leave will be responsible for reimbursing the University of Delaware for the salary and benefits received during the period of paid parental leave.

 

ASSOCIATED POLICY/REGULATIONS/INFORMATION

  1. Paid Parental Leave Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Short Term Disability Checklist
  3. FMLA
  4. Delaware Discrimination in Employment Act (Pregnancy) Notice (DDEA)
  5. Disability Policy
  6. Sick Leave Policy
  7. Vacation Policy

FORMS ASSOCIATED WITH THIS POLICY

  1. Request for Parental Leave Form
  2. WH-380, Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition
  3. HIPAA Authorization for Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) Form