CSU Policy: Parental Leave

Policy Title: Parental Leave Category: Human Resources
Owner: Vice President for University Operations Policy ID#: 3-6004-029
Contact:
Human Resources
Web: http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/
Email: hr_service_center@mail.colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-6947

Also Contact:
Benefits Office
Web: http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/benefits/
Email: myhr@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-6947
Original Effective Date: 1/5/2015
Last Major Revision: 8/26/2015
Print Version: Click Here to Print

PURPOSE OF THIS POLICY

The purpose of this policy is to simplify and improve CSU’s leave benefits and, in particular, to make parental leave more understandable and beneficial for employees and the institution. This policy revises and supersedes the University policy on Childbearing Leave, adopted in August, 2011. It implements enhanced leave benefits and related procedures for employees taking leave after the birth or adoption of a child.

APPLICATION OF THIS POLICY

This policy applies to all Eligible Employees (as defined below). It does not apply to classified employees, whose leave benefits are specified by the State of Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration.

DEFINITIONS USED IN THIS POLICY

Eligible Employee: Academic Faculty, Administrative Professionals, Post-Doctoral Fellows, Veterinary Interns and Clinical Psychology Interns with an appointment of at least half-time (50%) or greater who are benefits-eligible and who satisfy the eligibility requirements for short term disability (STD) are eligible for Parental Leave. (For eligibility requirements, see the STD benefit program rules in the CSU Cost Share Faculty and Administrative Professional Privileges and Benefits Summary Plan (SPD) booklet. A Parent need not be found medically incapacitated for purposes of using Parental Leave, but must still meet STD benefits program eligibility requirements). An employee is not an Eligible Employee during any period in which the employee is not in regular, paid employment status (for example, during a sabbatical or other such absence), and Parental Leave is not applicable to 9-month appointees during summer session appointments.

Parent: As used herein, a “Parent” means an Eligible Employee who is the birth mother or non-birth parent of a child, including the child’s mother or father, or the spouse, domestic partner or civil union partner of either, at the time that the leave period commences (and for as long as the leave is eligible to continue). An employee becomes a Parent of a child for purposes of this policy at the time of the child’s birth or placement for adoption. Foster care placement is not included within this definition.

POLICY STATEMENT

CSU recognizes the importance of supporting its employees with leave benefits that help them maintain work-life integration. Providing leave to new parents in order to allow them to care for and bond with their children is an important part of the university’s desire to support its employees and our community. It is the policy of the university that all new parents should be able to enjoy a period of paid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. This policy provides three weeks of parental leave time for purposes of bonding with and caring for the child, independent of any other kind of leave for which the parent may be entitled (such as sick leave, annual leave, or STD).

This policy does not change STD benefits in any way. It is intended to ensure adequate time off for employees who become new Parents, and to provide compensation, in most circumstances, when combined with other accrued leave benefits, for at least 9 weeks of the birth mother’s 12-week Family Medical Leave (FML) period (typically 6 weeks of STD eligibility plus 3 weeks of Parental Leave), or 3 weeks for the non-birth parent. Commencing July 1, 2015 (and subject to approval as part of the fringe rate package by the federal government), it also provides for the transfer of funds from the fringe pool to the employee’s home department for up to 12 weeks of salary paid for leave usage (sick leave, annual leave, parental leave) when reported by the department as having been taken by the birth mother.

In uncommon cases where the birth mother has little or no accrued sick or annual leave to use during the STD elimination period of 10 continuous working days, this policy may    not provide compensation for that portion of the employee’s absence from work, but departments may, in the department head’s discretion, allow Special Leave to be taken with pay in accordance with Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual (AFAPM) section F.3.14.

POLICY PROVISIONS

How to use Parental Leave

  1. Parental Leave consists of 3 work weeks of paid time off, to be used for the purposes of caring for and bonding with the child. Parental Leave may be taken anytime within the first year after delivery/placement. It runs concurrently with (is considered part of) FML for the birth or adoption, if the parent has remaining FML entitlement available. FML provides job protection for an employee for up to 12 weeks of leave for qualifying events. (See AFAPM Appendix 3 for details on FML.)
  2. After exhausting all accrued sick and annual leave, an employee who is the birth mother of the child and who is medically incapacitated following labor and delivery may be eligible for STD benefits. If the employee is eligible for STD due to medical incapacity, Parental Leave shall not commence until after STD benefits are exhausted. After exhausting STD benefits, the birth mother then becomes entitled to Parental Leave, regardless of whether or not she has FML eligibility at that time. (If she does have FML eligibility, then Parental Leave taken counts as part of the FML period). For the non-birth Parent, STD does not apply, which allows Parental Leave to commence at any time within one year after the birth or adoption, and exhaustion of other types of leave is not required.

Parental Leave is not available during the period preceding the birth or adoption, even if absences are due to the expected arrival. Employees may use other types of accrued leave (such as sick or annual leave), as appropriate, for absences during such periods.

  1. Once taken, Parental Leave must be used in a contiguous block (not split into intermittent days off). Prior notice of intent to take Parental Leave must be given by the employee to his or her supervisor at least 30 days in advance (unless such notice is impossible, in which case, then as soon as possible).
  2. Parental Leave is not available during summer session for a 9-month employee, or during any other period where the employee would not otherwise have been on regular, paid work status at the time that he or she becomes eligible for Parental Leave.

The following scenarios help illustrate how Parental Leave may be used:

Parental Leave Scenario #1

Birth Mother

Duration

Parental Leave Benefit

(Less than 2 weeks accrued leave)

Parental Leave Benefit

(More than 2 weeks accrued leave)

Pay

Family Medical Leave (FML) runs concurrently with all types of leave and must be recorded as FML

FML & Short Term Disability (STD)

 

Weeks 1-2

·     FML

·     Elimination period for STD (10 continuous days) (Sick and/or Annual Leave)

 

·     FML

·     Accrued leave (Sick and/or Annual)

 

100%

Normal childbirth

Weeks 3-6

Caesarean childbirth

Weeks 3-8

 

·     FML

·     STD (Normal childbirth typically constitutes a medical incapacity for 6 weeks; caesarean childbirth 8 weeks)

·     FML

·     Accrued leave (Sick and/or Annual)

·     STD (If less than 6 weeks or 8 weeks total accrued leave, STD benefits will provide income replacement upon exhaustion of accrued leave.)

 

 

100%

FML & Parental Leave

Normal childbirth

Weeks 7-9

Caesarean childbirth

Weeks 9-11

 

·     FML

·     Paid Parental Leave (3 weeks)

 

·     FML

·     Paid Parental Leave (3 weeks)

 

 

100%

FML (remainder up to 12 weeks)

Normal childbirth

Weeks 10-12

Caesarean childbirth

Week 12

 

·     FML

·     Leave without Pay (LWOP)

 

·     FML

·     Accrued leave (Sick and/or Annual) or LWOP

 

100% or Unpaid

Parental Leave Scenario #2

Non-Birth Parent – An employee who is a child’s father or non-birth mother, or the spouse or domestic partner of either at the time that the leave period commences (and for as long as the leave continues).

Duration

FML & Parental Leave

Pay

Family Medical Leave (FML) runs concurrently with all types of leave and must be recorded as FML

 

Weeks 1-3

·     FML

·     Parental Leave (3 weeks)

 

100%

Weeks 4-12

·     FML

·     Accrued leave (Sick and/or Annual) or LWOP

 

100% or Unpaid

Additional Time Off

The university’s FML policy provides for up to 12 weeks of time off for an employee following the birth or adoption of a child. This is not a separate paid leave benefit, and any portion of the FML time off that is paid must be covered by the appropriate type of available leave (sick leave, annual leave, STD, Parental Leave) for which the employee is eligible, as applicable. Any time off requested in excess of the total 12-week FML period may be granted at the discretion of the department head (or department head’s authorized designee). If allowed, it may be taken as annual leave, if available, or unpaid.

How Paid

  1. Parental Leave is paid at the employee’s regular salary as of the day that leave commences and is taxable at the employee’s normal tax rate. A Parental Leave application must be timely completed by the department within one month following the return to work date to receive funding from the fringe pool as a result of an employee’s use of Parental Leave (up to 3 work weeks of paid time off). The Parental Leave application is available on the Human Resources website at www.hrs.colostate.edu. The department will certify on the application that the Parental Leave policy requirements have been satisfied and request the reallocation of labor distribution from the department’s budget to the fringe pool.
  2. For the birth mother’s time off, the department will be reimbursed for the total cost of the combined sick leave, annual leave, and Parental Leave actually taken and paid from the departmental budget, for up to a total of 12 weeks paid time off (inclusive of up to 3 work weeks of paid Parental Leave), provided that the leaves were timely and appropriately reported and included on the Parental Leave application. This does not include the direct cost of replacement services (for example, hiring a temporary employee to fill in during the birth mother’s absence), since the department will have been made whole (up to 12 weeks) for the salary replacement cost of the birth mother’s leave.
  3. Only one Parental Leave benefit per employee is available per birth or adoption. The number of children born or adopted (e.g., twins) does not increase the amount of the Parental Leave benefit. (If both Parents are employees, each is entitled to use his or her Parental Leave benefit for the same event).
  4. Supervisors are responsible for timely reporting Parental Leave of an employee in accordance with the Leave Reporting Policy.
  5. Parental Leave that was earned but not used is not eligible for payment upon separation or retirement under AFAPM section F.3.2.3.

COMPLIANCE

Assistance in applying this policy will be provided by the Human Resources Department.

REFERENCES

FORMS AND TOOLS

Leave Reporting Procedures (HR website)

APPROVALS

Approved by Amy L. Parsons, August 2011; Revised, approved by Amy L. Parsons, May 23, 2013; Revised, approved by Amy L. Parsons, January 5, 2015

 

Print Version: Click Here to Print

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