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Leave Related to Pregnancy, Childbirth and/or Recovery; and Parental Leave -- FAQ for Faculty & Academic Staff

Frequently Asked Questions:  Short-Term Disability Leave Related to Pregnancy, Childbirth and/or Recovery; and Parental Leave For Faculty and Academic Staff

(Also see information on completing the Leave of Absence form.)


Q1. I am pregnant.  Am I eligible for paid leave under MSU leave policy?

Pregnant faculty and academic staff appointed nine months or more at 50% time or more are immediately eligible for Short-Term Disability leave upon hire.
Q2. I am pregnant and eligible for paid leave under MSU leave policy.  How much paid leave will I have?
The Short-Term Disability policy provides paid leave for disability related to pregnancy, childbirth and/or recovery for six (6) weeks beginning with the projected delivery date, based on medical certification indicating the projected delivery date. Six weeks is the normal period, however if health problems prevent the birth-mother from working for a longer period of time, the Short-Term Disability policy provides paid leave up to six (6) months, based on medical certification specifying the dates of the period of disability. The period of Short-Term Disability is based on calendar days. However, for academic year (AY) faculty/academic staff the non-duty days (May 16 through August 15) are excluded from calculating the six (6) month limit for Short-Term Disability.
Parental leave (which is separate from Short-Term Disability leave) provides six weeks of paid leave in addition to Short-Term Disability leave for birth-mothers. Parental leave is based on calendar days, except that upon the request of an academic year (AY) faculty/academic staff member, the parental leave clock will be stopped during non-duty days. (Non-duty days run from May 16 through August 15 for AY appointments). Birth-mothers can take parental leave entirely before, entirely after, or split around the Short-Term Disability leave. Parental leave must be taken within one year of the birth.

Q3. I am pregnant and eligible for paid leave under MSU leave policy.  How do I apply for leave?

  1. Inform the unit administrator (e.g., department chairperson, school director, etc.) that you are requesting Short-Term Disability and Parental leave.
  2. You are encouraged to discuss the scheduling of Parental leave with the unit administrator with regard to the needs of the department/unit.
  3. If both you and the newborn's other parent are employed by the same department or school, you should plan the timing of your leaves in consultation with the unit administrator.
  4. Obtain medical certification stating the projected delivery date; or obtain medical certification specifying the dates you are unable to work.
  5. Give the medical certification of projected delivery date or of dates of disability to the person who handles academic personnel actions for your unit, along with the begin date you wish to leave work.

Q4. I am a father, or other non-birthing parent, but not an adoptive parent.  Am I eligible for paid leave under MSU leave policy?

A faculty/academic staff member appointed nine months or more at 50% time or more who is a father, or other non-birthing parent, but not an adoptive parent is immediately eligible for Parental leave upon hire. (Adoptive parents, see Question 5 below.)

Q5. I am an adoptive parent.  Am I eligible for paid leave under MSU leave policy?

A faculty/academic staff member appointed nine months or more at 50% time or more who is adopting a child younger than age six and/or not attending school full-time is eligible for Parental leave.

Q6. I am a father, adoptive parent, or other non-birthing parent, and I am eligible for Parental leave under MSU leave policy.  How much paid leave will I have?

Parental leave provides six weeks of paid leave. The leave must be taken within one year of the birth or adoption. Parental leave is based on calendar days, except that upon the request of an academic year (AY) faculty/academic staff member, the parental leave clock will be stopped during non-duty days. (Non-duty days run from May 16 through August 15 for AY appointments).

Q7. I am a father, adoptive parent, or other non-birthing parent, and I am eligible for Parental leave under MSU leave policy.  How do I apply for leave?

  1. Inform the unit administrator (e.g., department chairperson, school director, etc.) that you are requesting Parental leave.
  2. You are encouraged to discuss the scheduling of Parental leave with the unit administrator with regard to the needs of the department/unit.
  3. If both you and the child's other parent are employed by the same department or school, you should plan the timing of your leaves in consultation with the unit administrator.
  4. Obtain medical certification of projected delivery date, evidence of birth;  or in the case of adoption, evidence of adoption, plus the age of child or evidence that the child is not attending school full-time.
  5. Give the medical certification of delivery date, evidence of birth; or in the case of adoption, evidence of adoption plus age of child or school attendance, to the person who handles academic personnel actions for your unit, along with the begin date you wish to leave work and the length of leave.

Q8. Can I take Parental leave on an intermittent basis?

Requests for intermittent Parental leave must be mutually agreed upon by both you and your unit administrator. Your leave is intermittent if you work a reduced schedule, or the periods of your leave are discontinuous. Splitting your parental leave around your Short-Term Disability leave but contiguous with it (i.e., part of your parental leave is taken immediately before the Short-Term Disability and part taken immediately after your Short-Term Disability) does not constitute an intermittent leave. Stopping your Parental leave clock during non-duty days does not constitute an intermittent leave.

Q9. I am in the tenure system [continuing appointment system] but have not yet been granted tenure [continuing appointment].  Can I extend my probationary appointment (i.e., put off my next review for reappointment and/or tenure [continuing] for one year) due to the birth or adoption of a child?

The probationary appointment is extended automatically upon request from a faculty/academic staff member for the birth or adoption of a child. Faculty can request an extension of the next reappointment/promotion/tenure review for the birth or adoption of a child. Extensions for this reason are limited to two separate one-year extensions during the entire probationary period. The request for an automatic one-year extension for the birth or adoption of a child must be submitted within two years of the birth/adoption, but no later than the due date for the submission to the department/school of the dossier for the next reappointment/promotion/tenure review. Any additional requests must be endorsed by your unit administrator, and approved by the University Committee on Faculty Tenure (for tenure system faculty) or the Provost (for academic specialists, librarians, MSU extension, and FRIB/NSCL academic staff).

Q10. Is my FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) entitlement affected by my paid Short-Term Disability and/or Parental leave?

Yes. Your FMLA entitlement for a fiscal year (July 1 of one year to June 30 of the following year) will be reduced by the time taken as Short-Term Disability and/or Parental leave during that fiscal year.

Q11. Is the length of my Short-Term Disability leave and/or Parental leave dependent in any way on the length of my FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) entitlement?

No. The length of Short-Term Disability leave and/or Parental leave is not affected in any way by the amount of your FMLA entitlement remaining at the time your Short-Term Disability and/or Parental leave begins.

Q12. Can I get more time off from work due to the birth or adoption of a child than is provided by the Short-Term Disability and/or Parental leave?
You may use any remaining FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) entitlement that you have, as an FMLA leave without pay. In addition, if your unit administrator (e.g., department chairperson, school director, etc.) agrees to it, you may arrange to use vacation time if you have any, or arrange a leave without pay for child care.

Q13. Is foster care included in Short-Term Disability or Parental leave?

No, however an unpaid leave may be requested under the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) policy and/or the policy regarding Leaves of Absence Without Pay.

Q14. I am the person who fills out the Leave of Absence forms for the Department.  Where can I find information on completing the form for Short-Term Disability and/or Parental leaves.

Information can be found on Information for Leaves of Absence.
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