If you are not eligible for Family and Medical (FML) leave because you do not meet the requirements, you may be eligible for Parental leave. Parental leave allows for up to 12 workweeks (480 hours for full-time employees; prorated for part-time employees) of unpaid job protected leave for:1
• Birth/care of a newborn
• Placement of a child under three years of age through adoption (including surrogacy) or foster care.2
Parental leave begins with the date of the birth of your child, the adoption, foster care or surrogate placement of a child under three years of age, and it extends for up to 12 weeks from that date. You may not take Parental Leave intermittently.2
Employees and educational appointees are eligible for Parental Leave if they are both:
- Benefits eligible, full time or part time (at least .5FTE/20 hours per week)
- Ineligible for Family and Medical Leave because they have less than 12 months of state service or have worked fewer than 1,250 hours in a 12-month period immediately preceding the birth or adoption of a child or placement of a foster child.
Hourly and temporary employees are not eligible for Parental Leave.
STEP 1: NOTIFY MANAGER: Notify your manager of the need for leave.
- Since parental leave begins with the birth, adoption, foster or surrogate placement of a child, you should advise your manager of your due date or adoption/placement date at least 30 days in advance.
- If a birth occurs prior to the due date unexpectedly, advise your manager and the HR Leave Center as soon as you are able to do so.
- You are expected to follow departmental call-in procedures to start or change your leave.
STEP 2: INITIATING PARENTAL LEAVE: Employee contacts the HR Leave Center at 713-745-3652 (5-FMLA) within 30 days before the birth, adoption, foster or surrogate placement, but after notifying your manager. The HR Leave Center will work with you (and manager as needed) to advise you of the necessary next steps and expectations.
STEP 3: PRELIMINARY APPROVAL: The HR Leave Center will tentatively approve the request pending confirmation from you of the date of birth, adoption, foster or surrogate placement. The manager will be copied on the preliminary approval. Preliminary approval may be rescinded retroactively if confirmation of the birth, adoption, foster or surrogate placement is not received. For adoption and foster placement, you are required to provide placement paperwork confirming the child has been placed. This paperwork must contain your name and the date of adoption or foster placement.
STEP 4: BEGINNING OF PARENTAL LEAVE: Employee notifies the HR Leave Center after the date of birth, adoption or foster placement of the child. The HR Leave Center will then send an approval letter. If additional information is needed, the HR Leave Center will notify you. The manager will be copied on the approval.
Parental Leave may be denied if the employee does not:
- Contact the HR Leave Center with notification of the birth, or
- Provide required placement paperwork confirming the adoption or foster placement of the child.
If the request is denied, absences may be subject to the provisions of the Attendance Policy (UTMDACC Institutional Policy # ADM0289).
STEP 5: CHANGES IN TIME OFF PLANS: If you need to request a change in leave, you must notify your manager and the HR Leave Center at 713-745-3652 (5-FMLA) in advance if medically possible.
STEP 6: PAY AND USE OF ACCRUED LEAVE:
- You are required to use all accumulated applicable paid leave during an approved Parental Leave before beginning leave without pay.3
- Compensatory Leave will also run concurrently with Parental Leave unless you request the HR Leave Center not to use it.
- The HR Leave Center will code applicable accruals for the duration of your leave.
- If you are on one or more months of paid leave, any leave normally accrued during the paid leave time will not be available for use until you return to duty. If you are on one or more months of unpaid leave, you will not earn or accrue leave for those unpaid months.
STEP 7: COMMUNICATIONS:
- Keep in touch with employees on leave in order to assist with return to work plans, plan for the department’s work needs and enhance potential retention.
- To maintain compliance with the FML law, read the sample questions in How to Talk to Employees on Extended Leave as guidance for talking with employees while on leave.
- Follow instructions from managers about maintaining contact with management about their plans during the leave period.
STEP 8: WHILE ON LEAVE: Managers are not allowed to assign work while you are on approved leave. Similarly, employees are not to perform work during approved leave.
- Parents may use Extended Illness Bank (EIB) or sick leave during the recovery period only.
- For a non-cesarean birth, the parents may use up to 6 weeks of EIB or sick leave from the date of the delivery.
- For a cesarean section birth, the parents may use up to 8 weeks EIB or sick leave from the date of delivery.
- The non-birth parent must submit documentation to support a cesarean section birth. If the documentation is not received, 6 weeks of EIB or sick leave will be used.
- When EIB or sick leave is exhausted or the period of recovery ends, other applicable accruals are used.
- A request from the birth mother or spouse for FML due to a health condition during pregnancy is treated as any other FML request.
Adoption and Foster Placement:
Employees may use EIB or sick leave during Parental Leave regardless of whether the child is sick at the time of adoption.
Employees may use up to 6 weeks of EIB or sick leave during Parental Leave from the date of placement.
If you are approved for a leave of absence through RPL, the duration of the absence will be applied towards any entitlement to Parental Leave.
If you believe your approved Parental Leave is not being granted, you should first talk with your supervisor. If your concerns are not resolved at that level, you should immediately contact the HR Leave Center. The HR Leave Center will review the matter and clarify the various rights and responsibilities related to the approved Parental Leave.
All information relating to requests for Parental Leave are confidential and are shared only on a need to know basis. All medical information will be treated as confidential and HIPAA protected.
Anyone who obtains or uses job-protected leave under false pretenses or falsifies medical documents is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.