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Faculty Parental Leave

Scope

The work of faculty is different from that of other categories of employees in that the academic calendar controls their work flow. This policy establishes leaves of absence for faculty members who are eligible for parental leave in the event of the birth or adoption of a child for whom the faculty member has parental responsibilities. Its goals are to assist faculty members in balancing the demands of the workplace with family obligations, and to establish equitable practices across the diverse academic departments, schools, and campuses of the University. This policy is ultimately intended to maximize the professional and personal satisfaction of faculty members, to acknowledge the impact of parental transitions, and to strengthen the University as a collegial and supportive work environment.

Definitions

  • FMLA: Family Medical Leave Act definition
  • Parent: As used herein, “parent” means the mother, father or other person standing in loco parentis to the child (i.e., person who will be responsible for the child’s day-to-day care and financial support.)
  • Birthing parent: A parent who physically gives birth to the new child.
  • Non-Birthing parent: A parent who did not physically give birth to the new child. This includes adoptive or foster parents.
  • Incapacitated leave: The time when an individual is unable to work, attend school or perform other regular daily activities because of the serious health condition, due to treatment of it, or for recovery from the condition.
  • Bonding time: FMLA provides certain workers job-protected leave when they take time off work for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child and to form a connection with the child.

Eligibility

This paid parental leave is provided to benefits-eligible, full-time, continuing-appointment faculty members. To be eligible for the paid parental leave, the faculty member must have completed one year of continuous, full-time, eligible employment prior to the beginning of the leave, regardless of the length of their appointment.

This leave is provided regardless of an employee’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Requests for leave must be made at least three months in advance of the anticipated start of the leave, or as soon as possible. Requests should be made directly to the Human Resources Office. A health care provider’s medical certification or evidence of adoption will need to be submitted in order for the leave to be approved. The details of the leave (e.g., dates, additional unpaid leave if requested, arrangements for covering courses) must be worked out with the Provost and Human Resources as far in advance as possible.

The faculty member’s department, working with the appropriate Dean and Provost, is responsible for arranging for replacement teaching assistance as necessary.

A faculty member taking parental leave during the probationary period toward tenure may receive an extension of one year during the probationary period. This request must be prior to the year that the tenure portfolio is due for review, regardless of the number of extensions granted for parental leave by the birthing parent. This extension will be applied only once for a non-birthing parent, even if there is more than one leave. This extension however does not preclude a faculty member from seeking earlier consideration for tenure. Parental leave will not affect the accrual towards sabbatical leave for faculty.

Please note that in considering a faculty member for tenure and/or promotion, teaching, research, and service requirements remain in effect, as the portfolio used for these purposes is holistic and looks at the faculty member's work over the entire period of time leading up to promotion and/or tenure.

The Provost and Human Resources will work closely with the faculty member to apply the provisions of this policy in an equitable manner appropriate to their situation, and will consult their Chair/Program Director/Dean, as appropriate, regarding course replacement and staffing. Other arrangements consistent with the basic policy may be explored with the Provost. For pre-tenure faculty, a determination of the effect, if any, on the tenure clock will be negotiated with the Provost before such leave occurs.

If both of a child’s parents are employed by the University and eligible for parental leave, each may take the leave to care for and bond with the new child but ordinarily not both at the same time, unless otherwise approved by the Provost and Human Resources. Leave under this policy will run concurrently with leave provided under Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The University may grant additional unpaid leave for a total of up to one year, subject to agreement between the faculty member and the Provost. Once FMLA has been exhausted, all insurance and applicable benefits typically pause.

The University assumes that those taking paid parental leave do so with the intention of returning to their previous position with the University. If before or during such a leave, a faculty member decides not to return to employment at the University, the faculty member must discuss the matter with the Provost at the earliest possible date.

Compensation

Birthing parent: A full-time birthing faculty member who meets the eligibility requirements may request a faculty parental leave that relieves that faculty member of teaching, research/scholarship/creative endeavors, and service duties for up to one 15-week term or equivalent (two 8 week terms) based on the faculty member’s normal teaching load, fully paid.

Non-birthing parent: A full-time non- birthing faculty member who meets the eligibility requirements may request a faculty parental leave that relieves that faculty member of teaching, research/scholarship/creative endeavors, and service duties for up to one 15-week term or equivalent (two 8-week terms) based on the faculty member’s normal teaching load, at a rate of 75% of their base salary (a 25% reduction) or a 7.5 week term or equivalent (8-week term) at 100% of their salary.

Length of Leave

Parental leave may be taken in the term following the birth or adoption. The leave cannot bridge terms; it must be continuous and it must include the time of incapacity, where applicable. This may mean that the faculty member has leave that starts before the birth or adoption. Terms include Fall, Spring and Summer for all faculty, regardless of regular teaching schedule or load. Timing should be approved by the appropriate department chair or program director, Dean, Provost, and Human Resources. Exceptions on the timing of the leave are rare but available based on the continuity of student schedules. Parental leave will run concurrently with FMLA leave unless the paid parental leave starts before the incapacitated time.

It is the expectation of the institution that during leave related to the birth of a child, and any medical situation related to that birth, the affected faculty member will have an “out-of-office” message on their email indicating to whom current and prospective students can go to for help or information about advising, the program/ major, the institution.

This policy was approved by University Council 2/6/2024 effective immediately.

Questions about the policy or its content should be directed to the Director of Human Resources at hr@moravian.edu.