Staff Parental Leave Policy

Berea College is committed to full compliance with applicable federal and state laws pertaining to maternity, paternity, and adoptive leaves. This Staff Parental Leave Policy (the "Policy") goes beyond the requirements of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and supports College Staff by making paid pregnancy, maternity, paternity, adoptive or foster care leave (individually and collectively referred to as "Parental Leave") available for benefits eligible College Staff members who satisfy the following requirements and procedures.

 

Policy Requirements and Procedures:

  1. Parental Family Leave is considered time used against the maximum twelve (12) weeks of family medical leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and runs concurrently with FMLA. After the paid Parental Family Leave is exhausted, the employee may use sick leave (with supporting medication documentation) and/or vacation leave for an absence due to pregnancy, maternity, paternity, foster placement or adoption of a minor child. Only one Parental Leave is permitted per child. If  both parents are staff employees, the paid Parental Family Leave may be shared between the two employee parents.
  2. The Parental Family Leave will generally commence immediately following the birth, foster placement or adoption of a minor child. However, Parental Family Leave may occur prior to an adoption when deemed necessary to fulfill the legal requirements for an adoption.
  3. Employees fostering a child are eligible for parental leave benefits. Parental leave for foster placements are authorized for one (1) week per placement with a maximum of two (2) placements per twelve (12) consecutive months. Exceptions will be considered when a doctor requires the primary foster parent to care for the child's medical needs. Medical circumstances may be approved for up to eight (8) weeks. These medical conditions must meet the FMLA requirements.
  4. An employee anticipating a Parental Family Leave is responsible for notifying Human Resources as soon as is practicable. An eligible employee will be required to furnish appropriate medical documentation for the birth or placement of a child. If the employee is eligible for FMLA leave, the medical, certification requirements and subsequent process will govern. The medical documentation will be completed and signed by the individual's health care provider. An employee will be required to furnish appropriate adoption or foster placement documentation from an adoption or foster agency or official court records.
  5. The leave will be paid at the following levels: Adoption or vaginal delivery: eight (8) weeks, Cesarean delivery: ten (10) weeks
  6. A benefits eligible employee receiving paid leave affirms him/herself to be the primary caregiver of the child during the time of the leave. Paid leave is only available to benefits eligible employees serving in the role of primary caregivers. Secondary caregivers may receive time away from duties, generally for one (1) to two (2) weeks, and this absence can be arranged through conversations and agreements with the appropriate Vice President and the secondary caregiver's immediate colleagues. A secondary caregiver must be the spouse or the partner of the primary caregiver.
  7. Employees failing to return and work for the College for six (6) months after paid Parental Family Leave will be required to reimburse the College for the cost of the benefit.
  8. Other important aspects of this Policy included:
  • Health insurance benefits will continue during the paid Parental Family Leave
  • Vacation and sick leave will not accrue during the paid Parental Family Leave
  • The amount of the benefit will be based upon current salary rate and determined by standard hours of the employee/ full-time equivalent of the position. A "day" of parental leave is equal to the employee's regularly schedule date, excluded overtime.
  • The fact that a multiple birth or adoption occurs (for example, the birth or adoption of twins) does not increase the length of Parental Family Leave granted for that event.
  • Surrogate mothers and sperm donors are excluded from coverage under this policy.
  • If an official College holiday occurs during the employee's paid Parental Family Leave, the employee will receive holiday pay in concurrence of a paid Parental Family Leave day. Holidays are included in the calculation of FMLA and Parental leave.
  • Employees not eligible for FMLA leave should contact Human Resources. This benefit is only intended for employee returning to work upon completion of the Parental Family Leave.