Parental Leave: AFSCME and SEIU Employees

For more specific information, please refer to the AFSCME Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 18: Parental Leave/Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave or the SEIU Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 18: Parental Leave/Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Leave

What is Parental Leave?

Parental Leave is an extended period of time away from work with benefits (with or without pay) to those employees who become parents through childbirth, adoption, or foster care placement, provided the employee has been employed at least one year and has been paid for at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period.

How do I request a Parental Leave for a pregnancy and/or the birth of a child?

Because pregnancy is a serious health condition, employees should request parental leave as soon as it is known it will be used.

  1. Review the PASSHE FMLA Notice to Employees and Employee Rights and Responsibilities under FMLA.
  2. Complete the Request for FMLA Leave form. Please indicate plans for extended leave following the birth/adoption/foster care placement of the child, including amount of Annual Leave or Unpaid Leave to be used.
  3. Have your healthcare provider complete the FMLA Employee Serious Health Condition Certification form. Note: Healthcare providers may charge a fee to complete forms necessary for FMLA certification.
  4. Return both completed forms to the Office of Human Resources c/o Benefits Manager for review at least 30 days prior to your due date. A designation notice will be sent to you with approval determination and further instructions on leave continuation.
  5. Submit a Release to Return to Work form from your healthcare provider to your supervisor and the Office of Human Resources upon release to return to work by your physician.
  6. Entry into ESS/Timesheet is not required by the employee.
How do I request a Parental Leave for adoption or foster care?

For adoption or foster care placement, Parental Leave begins once custody/placement begins, except when required for prior legal proceedings.

  1. Review the PASSHE FMLA Notice to Employees and Employee Rights and Responsibilities under FMLA.
  2. Complete the Request for FMLA Leave form. Please indicate plans for extended leave following the birth/adoption/foster care placement of the child, including amount of Annual Leave or Unpaid Leave to be used.
  3. Return the completed form to the Office of Human Resources c/o Benefits Manager for review at least 30 days prior to adoption/placement. A designation notice will be sent to you with approval determination and further instructions on leave continuation.
  4. Entry into ESS/Timesheet is not required by the employee.
Can I take time off work prior to the birth/adoption/foster care placement?

Yesif approved by your supervisor and HRAnnual Leave can be used. This will not be covered by FMLA.

However, if your doctor finds it medically necessary for you to stop working prior to childbirth, this is considered Sick Leave. Employees with less than one (1) year of service may only request to use Sick Leave that has been earned to date. Employees with more than one (1) year of service may request to use Sick Leave that is expected to be earned in the current leave calendar year. Your doctor needs to provide medical documentation, which should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources.

For adoption or foster care placement, leave begins once custody/placement begins, except when required for prior legal proceedings.

What do I need to do once my child is born/legally adopted/placed in my care?
  1. If adding the child to your healthcare, the employee should complete the Medical Enrollment Change Form and bring it to the Office of Human Resources with the original birth certificate/adoption papers/foster care papers within 60 days of birth. 
  2. To add voluntary group life coverage for your new child, complete the VGLI Enrollment form on the PASSHE VGLIP website.
  3. For childbirth, submit updated medical documentation to the Office of Human Resources regarding your post-partum recovery period and expected release to return to full-time work date.
Remember:
Can I take a longer leave than what my doctor ordered after the birth of my child?

Yesif approved by your supervisor and HRAnnual Leave can be used. Once all Annual Leave is exhausted, the remaining time off work will be unpaid leave. The remainder of approved 12 weeks of FMLA will apply.

Please refer to the FMLA Notice to AFSCME and SEIU Employees, section titled, "Absences After 12 Weeks of FMLA Absence".

  • Employees are entitled up to nine (9) months of extended leave without pay (LWOP) absence when the absence is full-time and contiguous to the expiration of the FMLA absence.
  • Employees must request the extended LWOP in writing, and for sick or family care reasons, proof of the need for continuing absence must be provided on the Serious Health Condition Certification form. Note: Only one occasion within a rolling year will be approved.
  • If eligibility is established, requests for intermittent or reduced-time FMLA absences after the first 12 weeks of absence in a rolling year, shall be approved only when the employee has a catastrophic illness or injury that poses a direct threat to life or to the vital function of major bodily systems or organs as determined and approved by the State System's Central Administration, of which all decisions will be final and may not be grieved. In addition, all accrued and anticipated paid leave that was not used at the commencement of the absence must be used prior to the use of the extended leave without pay.

 

Please refer to the FMLA Notice to AFSCME and SEIU Employees, section titled, "Benefits Continuation Information".

  • Annual and sick leave continue to accrue based on regular hours paid.
  • Holidays will be earned provided the employee is in a paid status the half day before and half day after the holiday.
  • Group life insurance coverage will continue to be University paid during an FMLA absence and the first 182 days of extended LWOP absence
  • Health benefits through the Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund (PEBTF) will continue as long as the employee continues to pay the applicable employee contributions and buy-ups, except during extended LWOP*. Employees enrolled in the PEBTF will receive notice regarding the payment amount and due date. Any delinquency in payment to the PEBTF will result in termination of the employee's health benefits. Employees must contact their University Human Resource office to add any new dependents to medical/hospital and supplemental benefits contracts within 60 days of birth or assuming custody of a child
  • In accordance with the Affordable Care Act, health benefits eligibility will continue for extended LWOP absences of 182 consecutive calendar days or less.