Faculty Paid Parental Leave

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University Policy Number 2230

Categorized:

Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure: N/A

Related Law & Policy:


I. Scope

Paid Parental Leave (PPL) assists eligible George Mason University faculty members during the first twelve (12) months of becoming a parent to meet both their professional and parental obligations.

 

II. Eligibility

A. PPL is available to Administrative & Professional, Research, and 12-month Instructional faculty who become parents via birth, adoption, or foster or custodial care and who meet the following criteria:

1. Are in a full-time or part-time position greater than 20 hours per week (or .50 FTE and greater) upon the birth or placement of the child.

2. Are eligible for Family and Medical Leave (FMLA):

i. Must have been employed by Mason for a minimum of 12 months in the past year, AND

ii. Must have worked for at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12-month period.

B. PPL is available to 9-month Instructional faculty who become parents via birth, adoption, or foster or custodial care and who meet the following criteria:

1. Have been continuously employed by Mason for at least 1 calendar year since hire or since the end of the last Parental Leave period, prior to the birth or placement of the child.

2. Expect to remain continuously employed for 1 calendar year following the leave (subject to contract renewal).

i. This leave does not apply to faculty in their first 1-year appointment, or to faculty in temporary or visiting appointments.

C. Eligibility determinations are made as of the date that the child is born or placed via adoption or foster or custodial care.

A faculty member who is not eligible for PPL on the date of birth or placement may become eligible during the following 12 months and access PPL once he or she meets the eligibility requirements.

PPL may be used only once per child and only once within a 12 month period

 

III. Policy Statement

PPL may be used for any one or more of the following reasons:

  • To give birth to, care for, and bond with a newborn child.
  • To care for a child placed with the employee through adoption or foster care or a legal custodial arrangement.
  • For VSDP employees, to supplement reduced income replacement disability benefits following the birth of an infant.

A. Administrative & Professional, Research, and 12-month Instructional Faculty

Eligible Administrative & Professional, Research and 12-month Instructional faculty members may take up to 8 weeks (320 hours, prorated for part time employees) of PPL to be used within 12 months of the birth of an infant, or adoptive, foster, or custodial placement of a child under the age of eighteen.

If both parents work for Mason and meet the eligibility criteria, each is entitled to up to 320 hours of PPL.

1. Procedure

i. Administrative & Professional, Research and 12-month Instructional Faculty members must submit a written request for PPL to their Department and to Benefits in HR & Payroll at least 30 calendar days prior to the anticipated beginning of leave or as soon as practicable.

ii. Employees must provide to Benefits documentation of the birth or placement in order to receive PPL. Qualifying documentation may include any one of the following:

a. For birth: a report of birth, a birth certificate, an order of parentage, or certified DNA test results.

b. For custody: a custody order.

c. For adoption or placement: an adoption order or a foster care placement agreement.

Documents provided must show date of birth and date of placement if placement was other than the date of birth.

iii. Eligible faculty members may charge PPL in

a. one continuous period of time, or

b. in two leave periods of at least 1 week. g. take 2 weeks off when the child is born then come back to work for 1 month and then take the additional 6 weeks off.

iv. PPL must be completed within 12 months of the date of the birth or placement of the child. PPL for foster or custodial care terminates at the conclusion of the foster or custodial care placement or within 12 months of the date of placement, whichever comes first. Unused PPL is not compensable if a faculty member separates from Mason employment or moves to a non-covered position.

2. Use with Other Leave(s)

i. Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) Participants: Faculty members must apply for short term disability for the period of medical recovery after giving birth. PPL may be used concurrently with reduced income replacement disability benefits to supplement income up to 100%, and/or may be used sequentially after the VSDP benefits cease to lengthen the leave period.

ii. Traditional Sick Leave Program Participants: Faculty members who must take full-time leave due to pregnancy or childbirth, and who have accrued sick leave, will be charged sick leave as appropriate (such as for doctor prescribed limitation periods like bed rest or physical recovery).

iii. FMLA Job Protection: Time taken for PPL is measured concurrently with FMLA. Faculty members using PPL are afforded the remaining job protection under FMLA for an absence up to a total of twelve (12) weeks (480 hours). They may charge personal leave or take leave without pay to cover the additional absence.

B. 9-Month Instructional Faculty

All Instructional 9-month faculty can elect PPL.  With PPL, the employee is eligible to develop a Work Relief Plan (see definition below) within 12 months following the date of birth or placement (multiple births or placements will be treated as one event). During PPL the faculty member is eligible for full pay and benefits. The employee may choose to have a Work Relief Plan of 100% in one semester, 50% in two semesters, or some other percentage distribution across two consecutive contractual semesters.

If both parents are faculty members employed by Mason, parents need to work closely with the departments and units (college/school/institutes) involved to develop a plan that optimizes outcomes for both employees and their academic units. Faculty members must work with their department chairs and/or deans to coordinate the specific arrangements of the reduced work schedule.

1. Procedure

i. The college or school will continue to pay the Instructional 9-month faculty member’s current primary position salary and benefits cost, not including stipends, during PPL. Benefit deductions will continue to be withheld from this compensation.

ii. Once the dates, commitments and schedules have been confirmed with the department head, the faculty member will complete and submit the Work Relief Plan to the dean or director of the unit. The dean or director will submit a Faculty Transaction Form (FTF) to the Human Resources & Payroll Department.  The FTF must clearly state the Work Relief Plan.

iii. This does not prohibit deans or chairs from further modifying assignments before and after the leave period.

iv. The faculty member must request use of this benefit in advance, a minimum of 3 months prior to the beginning of the leave period. In the sole discretion of the dean, a shorter notice period may be allowed, on a case-by-case basis, for good cause or special circumstances, which must be approved and documented by the faculty member’s supervisor and the dean.

v. The leave period must begin within 12 months following the date of birth or placement.

2. Use with Other Leave(s)

i. PPL may not be used by Instructional 9-month faculty immediately before or after a Study leave. In the sole discretion of the dean, exceptions may be allowed, on a case-by-case basis, for good cause or special circumstances, and must be approved and documented by the faculty member’s supervisor and the dean. Exceptions must be approved by the Provost.

ii. Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP) Participants: Faculty members must apply for short term disability for the period of medical recovery after giving birth. PPL may be used concurrently with reduced income replacement disability benefits to supplement income up to 100%, and/or may be used sequentially after the VSDP benefits cease to lengthen the leave period.

iii. Traditional Sick Leave Program Participants: Faculty members who must take full-time leave due to pregnancy or childbirth, and who have accrued sick leave, will be charged sick leave as appropriate (such as for doctor prescribed limitation periods like bed rest or physical recovery).

iv. FMLA Job Protection: Time taken for PPL is measured concurrently with FMLA. Faculty members using PPL are afforded the remaining job protection under FMLA for an absence up to a total of twelve (12) weeks (480 hours). They may charge personal leave or take leave without pay to cover the additional absence.

3. Interaction with Tenure-track Period

i. The tenure clock may be stopped only as provided in Faculty Handbook section 2.7.4.

4. Compliance

i. Supervisors, deans, and directors are responsible for reviewing the details and timing of the Work Relief. Work Relief Plans will be sent to Human Resources/Benefits along with the Faculty Transaction Form (FTF). Written approval of shorter notice (less than the required 3 months minimum notice) must be included with the FTF and submitted to HR.

ii. All exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Provost.

 

IV. Definitions

“Custody” or “custodial care” means full custody of a child under the age of eighteen pursuant to a custody agreement.

“FMLA” means the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.

“Paid Parental Leave” means leave that enables an employee to care for and bond with a newborn or child under the age of eighteen (18) newly-placed for adoption, for foster or custodial care.

“Traditional Sick Leave” means the program in which faculty members accrue sick leave (the non-VSDP sick leave program).

“VSDP” means the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program.

“Work Relief Plan” means the agreement created by the faculty member and his/her department.   Work Relief can be taken 100% in one semester (in which case no teaching and other work activities would be required) or 50% over two consecutive semesters (in which case one-half of the normally assigned teaching load and other work activities would be required to be fulfilled each semester). Faculty may also propose Work Relief Plans that are less than the maximum allowable leave amount. However, irrespective of which is chosen, the maximum allowable teaching load reduction cannot be exceeded in any semester for which a Work Relief Plan is chosen.

 

V. Forms

  •  Faculty Transaction Form (FTF)

 

VI. Dates:

A. Effective Date:
This policy will become effective January 1, 2019.

B. Date of Most Recent Review:

N/A

 

VII. Timetable for Review

This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually.

 

VIII. Signatures

Approved:

____/S/_____________
Senior Vice President for

Administration and Finance

____/S/_____________
Provost and Executive

Vice President

Approved Date: 12/13/2018

Revised: 4/2/2019