614: Paid Parental Leave (NEW)

Statement

To assist and support new parents, Georgetown University provides eligible administrative employees with up to eight weeks of paid Parental Leave for parent/child bonding and care. This includes employees designated as “staff” or “academic and administrative professionals (AAP)” as well as University-employed postdoctoral fellows.

Philosophy

The University is dedicated to helping employees balance the demands of professional and family responsibilities. Parental Leave is intended to assist and support parents who are adjusting to the addition of a new family member during the important period immediately following the birth, adoption, fostering or new guardianship of a child. 

Procedures

Eligibility

Employees in the categories below who have attained one year (12 months) of continuous benefits-eligible, full-time service at the time of birth or placement of child will be eligible for this paid parental leave: 

  • Full-time, benefits-eligible, regular and term administrative employees (Staff and AAP)
  • Postdoctoral fellows who are benefits-eligible and directly hired by the university

Use of Parental Leave

Paid Parental Leave may be used in each of the following circumstances:

  • Childbirth (birth parent; please note, in most cases, this leave may be used immediately upon the conclusion of the approved short-term disability period; see additional details later in this policy document)
  • Childbirth (non-birth parent)
  • Adoption
  • Foster
  • Guardianship

Georgetown provides 8 weeks of paid Parental Leave benefit payments equal to an employee’s base salary, less the amount of any Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefit payments for which the employee is eligible. Eligible employees will receive eight weeks of paid parental leave per birth, adoption or placement of a child. Multiple births or adoptions within the same event (e.g., the birth of twins or adoption of multiple children) will not increase the number of weeks allowed. In addition, the employee will not receive more than eight weeks of paid parental leave in a rolling backward 12-month period, regardless of whether more than one birth, adoption or foster care placement event occurs within that 12-month time frame. Parental Leave may be taken in either one 8-week increment or two 4-week increments, and must be used within 1 year following the child’s birth or placement through adoptive care, foster care, or legal custody.  

Nothing in this section shall be construed to interfere with an employee’s right to take leave in lesser increments in accordance with applicable Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or PFL laws. Rather, employees may take such leave as PTO or unpaid leave.

Timing of Parental Leave

An eligible employee must take Parental Leave within 1 year following the birth of their Child or within one year of a Child being placed in their adoptive care, foster care, or legal custody. Parental Leave must be taken in a single 8-week period or two, 4-week periods. When an eligible employee has given birth, Parental Leave will commence no earlier than after the conclusion of any paid Short-Term Disability Leave provided to the employee for their own medical recovery following childbirth. 

Parental Leave availability is calculated on a “rolling” 12 month period, measured  from the date an eligible employee first uses the leave. An employee can take one period of up to 8 weeks or two 4-week periods of Parental Leave per birth, adoption or placement of a child. Multiple births or adoptions within the same event (e.g., the birth of twins or adoption of multiple children) will not increase the number of weeks allowed. 

Requesting Parental Leave

To initiate Parental Leave, employees should contact MetLife at 1-877-638-8262 one month before their anticipated leave date. Employees may initiate Disability (for maternity, if needed for the parent giving birth), FMLA and Paid Parental Leave at the same time with a single phone call to MetLife. Additionally, eligible employees should apply for DC Paid Family Leave benefits at dcpaidfamilyleave.dc.gov or by calling 202-899-3700.

Leave can be requested in the following ways within a twelve month period:

  • A request for a single, continuous period of leave of up to 8 weeks. 
  • A request for two, distinct periods of leave, of 4 weeks each.
    If an employee does not take the second 4 week allotment within the 12-month period, they forfeit that remaining leave. 

An employee must request a minimum leave period of 4 weeks under this policy. Requests for shorter leave periods could be covered under FMLA and would be unpaid unless the employee requests and is approved for PTO.

Effective Date and Implementation

This policy takes effect on July 1, 2022. Eligible employees are able to take up to 8 weeks of parental leave for a qualifying event as long as the leave period concludes within 12 months of the birth or placement of the child.

Employees who experienced the birth or placement of a child into their family within the period from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 may consider this birth or placement as a qualifying event under this policy, subject to the rolling twelve (12) month period and other caveats above. The 8 weeks of paid parental leave may be used up until the 1-year anniversary of the child’s birth or placement.

Coordination with Other Policies

Parental leave is provided to eligible employees, in addition to the leave for which an employee is  eligible for under the Short Term Disability program as part of a qualifying medical event (birth of child).  

Parental leave will run concurrently with FMLA, DC Family and Medical Leave Act (DCFMLA), and other State FMLA and Paid Family Leave programs. 

Employees who are eligible for paid leave benefits through DC’s Paid Family Leave program (or other state programs) must apply directly to DC (or applicable state) for those benefits in order to receive 100% of their typical pay (GU’s Paid Parental Leave + DC Paid Family Leave = 100% pay). Georgetown University will offset Paid Parental Leave benefits by the amount that the employee is eligible to receive through state programs.

Extension of Other University Benefits 

Eligible employees retain access to participate in fringe benefits (including medical, dental, vision, flexible spending, supplemental life/AD&D and voluntary benefits) during periods of approved Parental Leave, as well as applicable retirement contribution programs.