Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Leave of Absence due to Childbirth and Adoption Policy/Flexible Work Schedules Following Birth or Adoption

The College offers various options when a member of the faculty or professional staff wishes to take time off work due to childbirth or adoption, as summarized below.

Additionally, reasonable flexibility with work schedules is provided on a temporary basis following childbirth or adoption; see below for details.

Faculty and professional staff may contact Human Resources with questions. Human Resources is to be contacted, at 291-3996, if a member of the faculty or professional staff wishes to apply for leave.

Family & Medical Leave

Per the federal Family & Medical Leave Act, a new parent - mother or father - may be granted up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave following the birth or adoption of a child. Members of the faculty and professional staff with at least a total of 12 months of College service, and who worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12 month period before leave begins, are eligible to take Family & Medical Leave. Per the College's Family & Medical Leave policy, eligible faculty and professional staff may apply to take an additional 7 weeks of leave, for a total of up to 19 weeks of unpaid leave.

Although leave is generally without pay, health insurance, life insurance, and long-term disability insurance coverage continue during Family & Medical Leave, for up to 19 weeks. Any College retirement contributions for which an employee is eligible, and elective contributions to the Retirement Plan, cease during unpaid Family & Medical Leave.

As noted, leave is unpaid unless earned vacation days and/or paid sick leave (as described below) is used in conjunction with Family & Medical Leave.

If a new parent wishes to take more than 19 weeks of leave, he/she may request a personal, unpaid leave of absence (see A personal leave of absence must be approved by the employee's manager or department chair, or through the Provost's Office for faculty members, and is without pay. During an unpaid leave of absence, health insurance coverage may be continued via "COBRA"; the employee pays the full cost to the College for coverage, plus a 2% administrative fee. Eligibility for other benefits ceases during an unpaid, personal leave.

Paid Sick Leave Before or After Childbirth

The College's Paid Sick Leave policies describe eligibility for salary and benefits continuation during sickness or disability, including pregnancy and/or childbirth-related disability (see Paid Sick Leave for Faculty or Paid Sick Leave for Professional Staff at ( A full-time member of the faculty or professional staff who is pregnant may use any accumulated paid sick days before or after the birth, during the period of time her physician indicates she is unable to teach or work. A full-time member of the faculty or professional staff will receive salary and benefits coverage during the period of time she cannot work due to pregnancy and/or childbirth-related disability, if eligible for paid sick leave based on the College's Paid Sick Leave policies. Any period of paid sick leave will run concurrently with Family & Medical Leave.

If a full-time member of the faculty or professional staff cannot work due to her pregnancy and/or childbirth, she is asked to provide documentation from her physician to Human Resources. All such documentation will be handled in strict confidence. At the time the new mother is physically able to return to work, as documented by her physician, or she exhausts all accumulated paid sick days, any remaining leave will be without pay unless earned vacation days are used. As noted above, a new mother may qualify for additional paid leave per the Faculty Childbirth/Adoption policy or the Paid Sick Leave Policy for Professional Staff.

Faculty Childbirth / Adoption Policy

The College provides flexibility with teaching schedules during pregnancy and in the semester following childbirth or adoption. A new parent may complete compensatory duties during the semester following childbirth or adoption, in lieu of teaching. Full-time members of the faculty should contact the Office of the Provost for information about childbirth / adoption-related policies for faculty members, or see the Faculty Childbirth/Adoption Policy at

Maternity / Paternity Leave for Professional Staff

A full-time member of the professional staff who has at least 12 months of full-time College service may request to use up to the lesser of:

  • 20 earned, paid sick days (4 work weeks) from his/her “Extended Sick Leave Bank”,
  • the total number of days available in his/her Extended Sick Leave Bank

following the birth or adoption of the professional staff member’s child.

A new mother who gives birth may use up to a total of 40 paid sick days (8 work weeks) following the birth, providing such days are available in her ESLB. In the event a new mother’s period of disability before or following childbirth extends beyond 8 work weeks, additional paid sick days may be used per the standard Paid Sick Leave Policy ( For example, if a new mother has pregnancy-related complications and must stop working 2 weeks before giving birth, and then is released by her physician to return to work 6 weeks after giving birth (is no longer considered “disabled” 6 weeks after giving birth), the new mother may take:

  • 2 weeks of paid sick leave before giving birth, plus
  • 8 weeks of paid leave after giving birth.

(The above is contingent on the new mother having sufficient days in her ESLB.)

Earned, paid sick days from a professional staff member’s Extended Sick Leave Bank (ESLB) may be used following childbirth or adoption so that the staff member may care for his/her newborn or newly adopted child.

Maternity or paternity leave must be taken within one (1) year of the birth or adoption.

Paid maternity / paternity leave days must be taken consecutively; days may not be taken intermittently except in unusual circumstances and when approved in advance by the professional staff member’s manager and the Director, Human Resources.

Paid maternity or paternity leave will run concurrently with Family & Medical Leave.

A new mother who gives birth is asked to provide Human Resources with a note from her physician indicating the first day on which she was unable to work prior to the birth, and the date on which she was physically able to return to work following the birth (even if the new mother chooses to extend her leave beyond this date).

Members of the professional staff should see the Paid Sick Leave for Professional Staff ( for details, or contact Human Resources.

Use of Paid Sick Days to Care for an Ill Child

A new parent may use up to 12 earned, paid sick days if the parent needs to care for his/her child who is ill.

Flexible Work Hours Policy for Professional Staff

The College provides reasonable flexibility with work schedules for professional staff during the 12 month period following childbirth or adoption. A professional staff member may request a modification to his/her standard work hours during the first 12 months following the birth or adoption of his/her child. The professional staff member will generally be required to maintain his/her normal 35 or 40 hour work week, but may request a schedule other than his/her normal schedule if it better meets the staff member's needs during the first year following birth or adoption. For example, a staff member may request to work from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. instead of the standard 8:30 until 4:30. Written requests for modifications to standard work hours are to be directed, in advance, to the staff member's manager, with a copy to the Director, Human Resources. A request for a temporary modification to normal working hours will generally be granted when doing so will not negatively impact departmental effectiveness or service to students, faculty and professional staff, or other constituencies.

Members of the professional staff are also eligible for schedule modifications per the Flexible Work Hours Policy (

College Hill Children's Center

Hildebrandt Learning Center operates an accredited child care center near campus for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. For information about the Center, please visit

Note for full-time members of the faculty and professional staff: If a new parent wishes to cover his/her child through the College’s health and prescription drug plan, dental plan, and/or Flexible Spending Accounts Plan, the parent/employee must complete and return the proper enrollment form(s) within 31 calendar days of the birth or adoption/placement for adoption in order for the child to have coverage.

Policy Maintained by: Human Resources, Director

Last Reviewed: July 30, 2013