Paid Parental Leave of Absence
Beginning July 1, 2021; up to three (3) weeks of paid Parental Leave will be available to employees at the University System of Georgia as part of House Bill 146.
Eligibility is contingent upon the employee meeting the following criteria:
- Full-time regular, part-time regular and temporary employees who have six (6) months of continuous service and have worked a minimum of 700 hours over the six months immediately preceding the requested paid Parental Leave date
Qualifying life events include:
- the birth of a child
- placement of a minor child for adoption
- placement of a minor child for foster care
Key Provisions of the Parental Leave Policy:
- Eligible leave amount: Up to a maximum of 120 hours of paid leave.
The maximum of 120 hours is the same, regardless of the number of qualifying events within the year and across USG institutions.
- Leave may be used on a continuous or intermittent basis.
- Unused leave does not carry over for future use.
- Parental leave has no cash value upon separation.
- Must provide adequate documentation of qualifying life event
- May be used on a continuous or intermittent basis
- May not run concurrently with any other paid leave
- Will run concurrently with Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)
- Expires 365 days after the date of the qualifying event
- No cash value upon separation from employment
Requesting Parental Leave:
Employeees must provide their supervisor and HR with notice of the request for leave at least 30 days prior to the proposed leave date (or if the leave was not foreseeable, as soon as possible). The employee must complete the Paid Parental Leave Request Form and be prepared to provide appropriate documentation to substantiate the request to their Benefits Specialist.
When can I begin requesting the use of paid parental leave law?
The state law establishing paid parental leave for eligible state employees becomes effective July 1, 2021. Employees may begin requesting leave on that date.
Is parental Leave retroactive?
Parental leave cannot be granted for absences prior to July 1, 2021, but leave can be taken based on a qualifying event that occurs prior to the effective date of the state law. Leave must be taken in the 12-month period following the initial qualifying event.
Can I request parental leave for a qualifying event that occurred prior to July 1, 2021?
An eligible employee may request the use of parental leave based on a qualifying event that occurs prior to the effective date of the state law. Leave must be taken in the 12-month period following the initial qualifying event.
Can a USG employed couple use up to the maximum of 120 hours of parental leave each?
The state’s parental leave law does not contain a spousal limitation provision. Therefore, married USG employees could be eligible for a combined total of 240 hours of parental leave. As a reminder, parental leave will run concurrently with FMLA as applicable and the FMLA spousal limitation provision of 12-week combined total FMLA leave still applies.
If an employee qualifies for both Parental Leave and FMLA leave, what is the total number of weeks that can be taken?
If an employee is eligible for paid parental leave and is also eligible for unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the paid parental leave will run concurrently with FMLA leave and does not extend the leave period of either.
For eligibility purposes, will my employment at another USG institutions count towards the six (6) months 700-hour work requirement.
Yes. An employee could combine service across more than one USG institution to meet the eligibility requirement. However, the employment must be on a continuous basis.
Does paid parental leave apply toward the 1,250 hours of work necessary for eligibility for FMLA leave?
No. the Family and Medical Leave, policy states that “holidays and time spent on paid or unpaid leave or suspension do not count toward the 1,250 hours.”
Is there a limitation on approving parental leave to be taken on an intermittent basis?
Parental leave, whether taken in a continuous block or on an intermittent or reduced-schedule basis, must be taken within 12 months of the initial qualifying event.
Is parental leave prorated for part time employees?
No. The state law does not provide that leave for part time employees must be prorated. All eligible employees may use up to the maximum of 120 hours of parental leave.
Is an eligible employee limited to a maximum allotment of 120 hours of parental leave in a 12-month period if transferring to another institution, or would the 120 hours start over each time an eligible employee transfer?
An eligible employee is limited to a maximum allotment of 120 hours of parental leave in a 12-month period even when transferring to another institution. As a result, it is the responsibility of the employer to conduct due diligence to ensure that the employee has not used their 120-hour allotment prior to approving the request for leave.
Are temporary employees eligible for parental leave?
Temporary employees (including students) are non-benefits eligible. However, should a temporary employee meet the parental leave eligibility and qualifying life event criteria, they would qualify for parental leave as provided for in the HRAP on parental leave.