Paid Parental Leave, Including Adoption and Foster Care Leave

Title: Paid Parental Leave, Including Adoption and Foster Care Leave
Approved by
Date Approved:
Effective Date: 06/03/2019
Responsible Official
Responsible University Office
Revision History
Related Legislation and University Policies
Review Period: 5 years
Date of Last Review
Relates to: FMLA-eligible executive staff, senior staff, and staff following childbirth, adoption, or placement of a foster child
Exclusions: executive staff, senior staff, and 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 recognizes that family and work-life balance are legitimate, important, and vital to the success of the university. The purpose of this policy is to provide additional paid time off that can be taken by the birth mother to recover from childbirth and/or medical conditions related to childbirth and for any new parent (birth, adoptive, or foster) to bond with a new child. 

Overview of Benefit

Eligible employees receive six (6) weeks paid parental leave. Paid parental leave is administered in conjunction and will run concurrently with FMLA leave. Employees who are not eligible for FMLA leave are not eligible for paid parental leave. However, birth mothers may be eligible for unpaid leave under the Unpaid Pregnancy Leave Policy to recover from childbirth.

All paid parental leave must be completed within twelve (12) months of the date of birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. Proof of the birth, adoption, or foster placement is required to receive paid parental leave. Additional documentation of proof of eligibility may be requested by Employee Relations.

Amount of Leave Provided

Eligible employees will receive six (6) weeks paid parental leave following the birth of a child, adoption, or foster care placement. 

Any leave for a birth mother that commences prior to delivery, due to a serious health condition, is considered personal medical leave under the FMLA. Paid parental leave is not available for personal medical leaves taken prior to the birth of the child. Refer to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Absences and Leave Policy for more information.

Employees may receive up to two (2) weeks of paid parental leave for stillbirth. Additional time may be necessary under the FMLA or the ADA.

If both parents/certified domestic partners are employees of the university eligible for leave under this policy, the maximum paid parental leave for both employees together is nine (9) weeks. This leave may be split up however the two employees agree, provided no employee takes more than six (6) weeks paid parental leave.

The number of children born, adopted, or fostered at the same time does not affect the amount of the paid parental leave for that event.

Intermittent Leave

Paid parental leave on an intermittent basis 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 they will not disrupt the department’s operations.

Additional Leave

Eligible employees receive twelve (12) weeks FMLA leave. Eligible staff with remaining FMLA leave may combine the six (6) weeks paid parental leave with other paid time off (i.e., paid sick time, accrued vacation time, or short-term disability for those eligible), to achieve the maximum amount of paid time off from work. Pursuant to the FMLA policy, employees may be paid while on FMLA leave by:

  1. using accrued sick pay if such leave is medically necessary;
  2. applying for and being approved for short-term disability, if such leave is medically necessary and the employee has exhausted all sick pay and accrued vacation;
  3. using accrued vacation time if sick pay is exhausted and the leave is medically necessary; or 
  4. using accrued vacation time if the continued FMLA leave is not medically necessary (i.e. leave for bonding).

Prior to commencing an unpaid FMLA leave, an employee must have exhausted all sick pay and accrued vacation hours. Staff employees who are on a medically necessary leave following childbirth and who have exhausted all paid leave may qualify for short-term disability. Senior staff and executive staff are not eligible for short-term disability. Consult the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Absences and Leave Policy for more information.

Benelect Coverage

An eligible employee receiving paid parental leave will remain in their Benelect program according to the Benelect Plan provisions and have their benefits maintained during such leave. During the leave, the employee’s contributions towards their benefits will be deducted from their paychecks. Employee will also continue to accrue service time towards benefits based on active service. 

After paid parental leave expires, employees who remain on paid leave (i.e. sick pay or vacation pay) will continue with these benefits. Employees on unpaid leave should consult the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Absences and Leave Policy.

Utilizing paid parental leave will not have a negative impact on employment status. 

Paid Parental Leave is charged to the home departments for exempt employees, and charged to the holiday/vacation accrual account for non-exempt employees. If the position is grant-funded, Paid Parental Leave is charged to the home department, not to the grant.

Faculty

Faculty receive Paid Parental Leave through the Faculty Paid Parental Leave policy. Faculty should consult the Faculty Paid Parental Leave Policy in the Faculty Handbook for paid parental leave and adoption leave policies for faculty.

Responsible Official: Vice President of Human Resources
Responsible University Office: HR Employee Relations
Effective Date: 06/03/2019
Revision History: 01/01/2005; 11/01/2008
Related Legislation and University policies: Vacation Policy, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Absences and Leave Policy; Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Absences and Leave Procedure; Sick Pay (executive staff, senior staff, and staff) Policy