HR - Parental Leave - FMLA - CA

Policy Statement and Reason

For the purpose of this policy, employees include California faculty and staff unless otherwise indicated in the sections below.  All provisions of this policy apply, except that for employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement, this policy does not create any benefits not expressly provided by that collective bargaining agreement and if there are inconsistencies between this policy and the collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement will govern. 

Emerson College recognizes that its employees may need time away from work to due to the birth or adoption of a child, the placement of a foster child with the employee, or to care for the employee's child during the first 12 months after birth, adoption, or placement.  This policy provides information about Parental (FMLA), one type of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Care Leave Act, and what, if any, pay continuation options may be available to eligible staff employees during this otherwise unpaid time away.

Refer to “General Information for all FMLA Leaves - CA” for full information regarding FMLA leaves including:

  • Types of FMLA Leave
  • Definitions
  • Eligibility
  • Pay Continuation
  • Use of FMLA
  • Extended Leaves
  • Both Spouses Employed by the College
  • Employee Responsibilities
  • Employer Responsibilities
  • Benefits and Salary Increases during Leave (Paid & Unpaid Leave)
  • Return from Leave and Failure to Return from Leave
  • Coordination of Federal and State Regulations
  • Protections

Definitions

The following definitions will apply to the administration of this policy:        

Child: A biological, adopted or foster child, stepchild or legal ward who is under eighteen years of age, or eighteen or older and incapable of self-care because of mental or physical disability, at the time the leave commences.

Elimination Period: the length of time between the beginning of an injury or illness and receiving benefit payments from an insurer.

Primary Caregiver: The person who has primary responsibility for the care of a child immediately following the birth or the coming of the child into the custody, care, and control of the parent for the first time. This definition applies to both births and adoptions.

Rolling 12-Month Period Measured Backward: period measured backward from the date an employee uses any FMLA leave. Under the ‘‘rolling’’ 12-month period, each time an employee takes FMLA leave, the remaining leave entitlement would be the balance of the 12 weeks which has not been used during the immediately preceding 12 months.

Example 1: Michael requests three weeks of FMLA leave to begin on July 31st. The employer looks back 12 months (from July 31st back to the previous August 1st) to see if any FMLA leave had been used. Michael had not taken any previous FMLA leave, so he is entitled to the three weeks he requested and has nine more weeks available

Salary Continuation: Ways in which employees are paid while on leave of absence from work, i.e., sick time, personal time, vacation time, California State Disability Leave, and California Paid Family Care Leave.

Spouse (FMLA definition): a husband or wife as defined or recognized in the state where the individual was married, including in a common law marriage or same-sex marriage.  Spouse also includes a husband or wife in a marriage that was validly entered into outside the United States, if the marriage could have been entered into in at least one state.

Policy Guidelines

Eligibility

An employee is eligible for FMLA if they have (1) been employed by Emerson College for at least 12 months; (2) have actually worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12-month period (inclusive of time the employee has spent in military service during that period); and (3) works in a location within 75 miles of at least 50 employees of Emerson College

Parental Leave (FMLA)

One category of leave for which eligible employees may be entitled is Parental Leave (FMLA) Parental Leave may be taken for the birth or adoption of a child, the placement of a foster child with the employee, or to care for the employee's child during the first 12 months after birth, adoption, or placement of the child. 

FMLA leaves provide eligible employees with a  combined total of 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for all FMLA leave types in a 12-month period (measured backward on a rolling basis), except that Military Caregiver Leave, provides a combined total of 26 weeks for all FMLA leaves in a 12-month period. 

NOTE: Emerson College includes childbirth under Parental Leave. However, all protections and aspects afforded Under FMLA’s Personal Medical Leave for childbirth are unaffected. See Parental Leave -FMLA for pay continuation information during unpaid Parental Leave.  

Pay Continuation for Faculty Employees

Parental Leaves under the FMLA are “unpaid” periods of time eligible faculty employees may take from work for the reasons described above.

For information about any applicable pay continuation for faculty employees, please see the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

Pay Continuation for Staff Employees

Parental Leaves under the FMLA are “unpaid” periods of time eligible employees may take from work for the reasons described above.

Unless otherwise stipulated by applicable collective bargaining agreement sick time, personal time, vacation time, California Disability Insurance and California Paid Family Care Leaves are ways in which eligible employees may be compensated during applicable leaves.

Employees must use sick time, vacation time, and personal time when not receiving income replacement by the state. However, employees may hold up to five (5) total days of sick, personal, and vacation time in reserve.  Use of vacation time is optional in the case of pregnancy disability.

The use of sick time, personal time, and/or vacation is optional, not required during periods the employee is receiving any kind of income replacement benefits, such as California Disability Insurance and California Paid Family Care Leaves

Full-time Appointments working less than twelve (12)-months 

Full-time appointments working less than twelve (12)-months, such as a nine (9) or ten (10)-month appointment, are not eligible for Parental Pay plans during periods in which they are not scheduled to work.

Both Spouses, Domestic Partners, or Parents Employed by the College

This policy may vary when spouses, domestic partners, or parents are employed by the college. See: General Information for all FMLA Leaves Policy - CA.

Other Information

Related Policies

Responsible Officer

Please contact the Leave of Absence Administrator (Human Resources) for further information regarding this policy and its implementation.  

Key Offices to Contact 

Office of Human Resources    

Links to Procedures or Forms

Please contact the Leave of Absence Administrator (Human Resources) for assistance.

 

The contents of this policy are informational only and are not conditions of employment.  This policy does not create any contractual obligations or alter the at-will employment of the College’s at-will employees. Emerson College reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate, or change any and all policies and procedures at any time, with or without notice, as consistent with state and federal law.

 

Policy Effective: May 2019