Faculty Parental Leave

Excerpted from Faculty Legislation, Section Eight: Faculty Benefits

Parental Leave

The Mount Holyoke College Parental Leave Policy provides for a paid leave of absence for eligible faculty who will be an equal or primary caregiver of the child.  Aware that faculty schedules, research programs, and student learning do not conform well to the possible need for mid-semester parental leaves, the College has devised a paid parental leave policy specifically for faculty with the particular needs of faculty, students, and the College in mind.  The College complies with all applicable laws.  Indeed, the paid leave provided by this policy is intended to exceed the requirements of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act.  Faculty members who are not eligible for this policy or those who voluntarily elect may avail themselves to any unpaid leave entitlements they may have under the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (see section on Federal and State Laws below).

Eligibility

Parental leave is available to members of the teaching faculty holding positions titled professor, associate professor, assistant professor, senior lecturer, or lecturer, and regardless of gender.  To be eligible, faculty must make a commitment to return to work at the College at the end of the leave and affirm they are an equal or primary caregiver of the child.

Parental leave is also available to full-time visiting faculty starting in their second consecutive year of full-time service and who will be under contract with Mount Holyoke for the duration of the leave.

Only one leave is available per family per child if both parents are Mount Holyoke faculty members.  For couples who wish to share parenting responsibilities equally, this leave could be split between two parents, taken as course reductions, with corresponding reductions in other responsibilities.

Policy

An eligible faculty member will receive a reduction of two courses to be taken either during a single semester or to be spread over two consecutive semesters without loss of salary or benefits.  Parental leave must be taken within twelve months of the birth of a child or the placement of a child for adoption or foster care.  In the case of multiple births or adoptions, an additional course reduction will apply for each additional child.

Parental leave should be requested as far in advance as possible and practical to allow for department planning.  Additional information, including the Parental Leave Application and Faculty Affidavit, may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of Faculty.

Other Information

Semesters taken as parental leave will not be counted when calculating eligibility for sabbatical leave.

The tenure clock will be delayed for one year per birth or placement/adoption event when parental leave is taken unless the faculty member informs the Dean of Faculty otherwise.

When the faculty member is on approved parental leave, the College will make arrangements to cover essential teaching responsibilities.

Leave associated with medical conditions during pregnancy is distinct from parental leave and should be addressed as any other medical leave by notifying the Dean of Faculty.

To permit Human Resources to meet the College’s compliance and recordkeeping obligations, medical documentation will be required for leaves related to birth and other documentation will be required for leaves relating to adoptions.

Federal and State Laws

Faculty members who are not eligible for this policy or those who voluntarily elect may avail themselves to any unpaid leave entitlements they may have under the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act.

Information about entitlements provided by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and about entitlements provided the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act can be found on the Human Resource website.