Office of the Vice President for Academic Personnel

ASU Parental Leave Policy - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of this new policy?
To support employees as they balance career, childbirth, and family life, ASU will be providing 6 weeks of paid leave to eligible employees during the birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption.

What does the new policy provide?
Eligible employees can request and receive up to 6 weeks of paid leave from their job following the birth of a child or adoption of a child. This paid leave will not reduce the employee's balance of accrued time under any other university paid leave program (e.g., sick time, vacation).

In addition, department chairs and deans are expected to accommodate requests for temporary assignment of alternate duties for tenure-track/tenured faculty. Examples of alternate duties include but are not limited to research, course development, curriculum development, working on program reviews or accreditation reviews and related documents, and the mentoring of graduate students. The temporary assignment of alternate duties will be for a period of up to twelve (12) weeks beyond that of the paid parental leave. If this period ends during a semester, this temporary assignment of alternate duties will be further extended to the end of the academic term in progress. Any reduction in teaching is not required to be made up at a later date. The provision of a temporary assignment of alternate duties is intended to make it more feasible for tenured-track/tenure faculty to remain in active employment following the birth or adoption of a child.

Who is eligible to request paid parental leave?
All benefits-eligible employees (.50 FTE or greater), including faculty, academic professionals, administrators, service professionals and classified staff members who have worked for ASU for not less than twelve (12) consecutive months in a benefits-eligible position and have worked at least 1250 hours during the previous 12 months.

This waiting period is waived for tenured/tenure-track faculty and for continuing/probationary academic professionals.

The paid leave may be used by the birth mother, father, adoptive parents and domestic (same or opposite sex) partners.

When is parental leave available?
Paid parental leave is available for the 6 week period immediately following the birth of a newborn or the adoption of a child.

Doesn't ASU already grant leave to employees who become new parents? Why do we have this new policy?
ASU does grant leaves of absences to employees who become new parents under its Family Leave policy. Family Leave is unpaid. To stay in pay status, employees have had to use their accrued and unused sick hours and/or vacation hours during the Family Leave period.

Additionally, ASU has granted leaves of absence to benefits-eligible employees who do not meet the eligibility criteria for Family Leave when they become new parents under its Extended Leave of Absence policy. Extended Leave is also unpaid unless the employee applies sick or vacation hours to remain in pay status.

The new Parental Leave policy will run concurrently with Family Leave and provides those employees with 6 weeks of paid leave so that it is more feasible for employees to remain in pay status with ASU during the birth of a child or placement of a child for adoption. Employees will be responsible for applying their accrued and unused sick hours or vacation hours for any time taken beyond the first 6 weeks.

What happens if I won't meet the eligibility criteria for parental leave until part way through my leave of absence under the Extended Leave of Absence policy?
Employees who attain one year of service while on leave for the purpose of a birth or the adoption of a child will be eligible for a pro-rated portion of paid parental leave.

What happens if I am on an academic year appointment and my child is born or adopted between the period of May 16th and August 15th ?
In this situation, the academic year appointee is eligible to receive a pro-rated amount of paid parental leave for any portion of the 6 week period that occurs in the new academic year period.

How does use of Parental Leave effect faculty and academic professionals on probationary appointments?
Use of Parental Leave will be considered good cause for extending the probationary period ( i.e., "tenure clock") under ACD 506-03 and ACD 507-02.

Will use of the Parental Leave policy adversely affect my employment with the University in any way?
No. Requesting to use Parental Leave will not adversely impact your standing and will not be a consideration for future salary adjustments in any manner. As noted above, for faculty and academic professionals on probationary appointments, use of parental leave is good cause for "stopping" the tenure clock.

Are Postdoctoral Scholars and Graduate Research and Teaching Associates/Assistants eligible to request parental leave?
Yes. Postdoctoral scholars will continue to receive their stipend and associated benefits (health insurance and tuition remission) during this 6 week period for purposes of recovering from childbirth only.

Graduate research and teaching associates/assistants who currently have a .50 FTE appointment and have completed at least one academic year's service may receive up to 6 weeks of parental leave for purposes of recovering from childbirth during which they will continue to receive their stipend and associated benefits (health insurance and tuition remission). The department is responsible for funding these costs. The RA/TA must maintain a minimum enrollment of 6 credit hours during the term of the paid leave. Any portion of the 6 week period of recovery from childbirth that falls outside of the appointment term will reduce the amount of available paid leave on a pro-rated basis. The accommodation period does not include adoption or paternity leave.

I'm a graduate student and starting a family, does the new parental leave policy have any application to my circumstance?
Under the new parental leave policy, graduate students (regular non-RA/TA students) who are recovering from childbirth may request an academic accommodation period for childbirth, allowing them to postpone university and departmental academic requirements and milestones for one semester while remaining enrolled.

When does the policy go into effect?
The policy will go into effect on October 16, 2006.

If I had a newborn child or adopted a child prior to October 16, 2006, can I request paid parental leave now?
Paid parental leave will be available only for the first six weeks immediately following the birth or adoption of a child. If an eligible employee has a newborn child or adopts a child after September 1, 2006 and prior to October 16, 2006, the employee can receive a pro-rated period of paid parental leave ( e.g., if birth or adoption occurs October 1, 2006, the employee can request paid parental leave for a period of 4 weeks).

If I have twins, am I eligible to receive 12 weeks of paid parental leave?
No. One paid Parental Leave is available per family, per birth or adoption event. The number of children involved does not increase the length of paid parental leave granted for that event.

What happens if my baby is stillborn?
Paid parental leave may be used in cases of stillbirth. In such an event, a maximum of two (2) weeks of paid parental leave may be used. This form of paid parental leave is used in place of the university's bereavement policy ( ACD 702-04 or SPP 704-05 ). Additional time may be used under the Family Leave policy ( ACD 702-03 or SPP 705-02 ) and sick leave policy ( ACD 702-02 or SPP 701-01 ) when supported by medical documentation.

What happens if I do not return to work at ASU at the conclusion of the Parental Leave?
If you don't return from paid Parental Leave or any other authorized leave period (e.g. Family Leave, Extended Leave of Absence or Health-Related Leave) or you return but fail to stay for at least 30 days, you are responsible for reimbursing ASU the salary or wages paid under the Parental Leave policy. ASU will excuse reimbursement where the failure to return is due to the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition of the employee or the child which would otherwise entitle you to leave under the Family Leave policy; or other circumstances beyond your control.

If you are a graduate RA/TA and you utilize the paid parental leave policy at the end of your final semester and do not return because your assistantship has concluded, you will be excused from reimbursing ASU the stipend paid out under the leave.

Where can I get a copy of the policy?
The policy for faculty and academic professionals is available at ACD 710 http://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals/acd/acd710.html

The policy for administrators, service professionals and classified staff members is available at SPP 708 http://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals/spp/spp708.html

The policy for postdoctoral scholars is available in the Postdoctoral Guidelines