PREGNANCY AND PARENTAL RELATED LEAVES


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The below information is provided to assist in the navigation of leave provision(s) for pregnancy and parental related leaves that may be available

Family Medical Leave
Washington State Family Leave Act
Pregnancy Accommodations


Family Medical Leave

Overview and Entitlements
Eligibility
Use of Accrued Leave
To Apply
Resources

Overview and Entitlements

Pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act (FML) of 1993 employees may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month rolling year when the leave is taken for purposes of:

  • Incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth
  • To care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;
  • To care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent, who has a serious health condition;
  • A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status

Eligibility

An eligible employee will need to have worked for the State of Washington for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding their period of leave.

NOT ELIGIBLE FOR FML? See Disability Leave or Family Care Leave.

Use of Accrued Leave

FML may be taken as paid or unpaid leave, upon the discretion of the employee and as identified in WSU policies.  Employer paid medical benefits will remain effective during the FML period as long as the monthly premiums are paid. An employee may move in and out of pay status while on FML

Leave Limitations for Spouses of the Same Employer

Eligible spouses who are both WSU employees and eligible for FML are limited to a combined total of 12 workweeks of family leave for the following reasons:

  • Birth of the employees’ child and care of the newborn child
  • For adoption or foster care placement
  • Or for the care of a parent with a serious health condition

To Apply

To apply for FML, the employee completes the Employee Leave Request form and the health care provider completes the Health Care Provider Statement. Both forms are available on the forms page. Return both forms to Human Resource Services (HRS). The contact information can be found here. Upon receipt of the forms, HRS will determine the employee’s eligibility for FML as well as other Federal, State, and University medical leave provisions. When possible, the forms should be returned 30-days prior to the start of the medical leave. Please note, in some circumstances WSU cannot allow an employee to return to work from a period of medical leave without the release of their Health Care Provider.  Prior to an employee’s return to work they should complete and submit the Work Assessment / Return to Work form available on the forms page.

Resources

Questions? Contact Disability Services

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Washington State Family Leave Act – Parental Leave

Overview
Eligibility
Use of Accrued Leave
To Apply
Resources

Overview

Like the federal Family and Medical Leave, Washington’s Family Leave Act (FLA) provides up to 12 weeks of protected leave in a 12-month period for eligible employees. This leave provision provided by the State of Washington supplements and/or runs concurrent with FML.

Under FLA an eligible employee may:

  • Take up to an additional 12 weeks for bonding with their newborn
  • Take leave for placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care
  • Take leave to care for an employee’s family member (spouse, son, daughter or parent) who has a serious health condition including registered domestic partners who have a serious health condition
  • Take leave for any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a family member is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status

Most often, in the case of a pregnancy, a woman will qualify for 12 weeks of FLA in addition to the pregnancy disability leave ordered by her health care provider. This will give her more total protected leave from work than her 12-week entitlement under the FML because, in most cases, her pregnancy disability leave will count against her 12 weeks of FML but not against her FLA. The FLA does not run during pregnancy disability leave. Instead, the 12 weeks of FLA will begin to run when the woman’s doctor releases her to work following the birth of her child, usually six to eight weeks after the date of birth.

Eligibility

An eligible employee will need to have worked for the State of Washington for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months immediately preceding their period of leave.

Use of Accrued Leave

This leave of absence may be full-time, part-time, or taken intermittently with the supervisor’s approval.  An employee may use their choice of paid leave according to WSU policy for Family Medical leave, or request Leave Without Pay when taking leave for bonding with a newborn. Please note, spouses who are both employed with WSU, must share the 12 weeks of leave when taking leave for the purpose of bonding with their newborn.

Employer-paid medical benefits will remain effective during the FLA period as long as eight hours of accrued leave is submitted, per month. An employee may move in and out of pay status while on FLA.

To Apply

To apply for Parental Leave, an employee completes the Employee Leave Request form found on the forms page. If not taken in conjunction with FML, the employee will need to submit documentation showing the date of the new child’s birth or the date the employee takes custody of the new child in the case of adoption or foster children. All documentation should be returned to HRS. The contact information can be found here. Upon receipt of documentation HRS will determine eligibility for Parental Leave. When possible, the form should be returned 30-days prior to the start of the leave. The supporting documentation may be submitted as soon as possible following the child’s birth or placement.

Resources

Questions? Contact Disability Services

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Pregnancy Accommodations

Overview and Entitlements
Eligibility
Use of Accrued Leave
To Apply
Resources


Overview and Entitlements

Effective July 23, 2017, all Washington State employers are required to provide providing specific civil rights protections for pregnant employees. A pregnant employee has the right to the following accommodations:

  1. Providing frequent, longer, or flexible restroom breaks;
  2. Modifying a no food or drink policy;
  3. Providing seating or allowing the employee to sit more frequently; and
  4. Limiting lifting to 17 pounds or less.In addition, a pregnant employee may have rights to other workplace accommodation(s), as long as there is no significant difficulty or expense to the employer. These are:
  5. Job restructuring, including modifying a work schedule, job reassignment, changing a work station, or providing equipment;
  6. Providing a temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position;
  7. Scheduling flexibility for prenatal visits;
  8. Providing any further accommodations the employee may need.

 


Eligibility


Use of Accrued Leave


To Apply

To Apply for a Pregnancy Accommodation

It is the employee’s responsibility to inform the supervisor or HRS that he or she needs a reasonable accommodation in order to perform her job functions. To apply for Reasonable Accommodation, an employee may complete the Reasonable Accommodation Request form.

Supporting medical documentation may also be needed*. If needed, the Health Care Provider can complete the Reasonable Accommodation Health Care Provider Statement. Additionally, the Reasonable Accommodation Medical Release Statement may also be completed by the employee. All forms are available on the forms page. Please return all forms to HRS. The contact information can be found here.


Resources

 

Washington State University