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Parental Leave

Section 512

The college complies with the Massachusetts Parental Leave Act (MPLA), which provides all employees who have been employed for at least three months with up to 8 weeks of unpaid parental leave for the birth, placement or adoption of a child under the age of 18, or under the age of 23 if the child is mentally or physically disabled.  

In addition, the college generously offers paid leave to eligible employees for the birth or adoption of a child, as set forth in more detail below.  

Any parental leave under the MPLA and the college’s Parental Leave policy shall run concurrently with all other applicable leave, including leave under MA PFML and FMLA.

The College’s contributions to health, dental, life, and disability insurance in which the employee is enrolled will continue during any period of Parental Leave.  In addition, retirement plan contributions will continue during any period of Parental Leave.

Eligibility for Paid Parental Leave

If you have been employed at the college for a minimum of 12 consecutive months in a regular position of half time or more, you are eligible for a fully paid parental leave as noted in the terms and conditions below. If you work half time or more but less than full time, you are eligible for prorated parental leave based on the number of hours you are regularly scheduled to work.

Paid Parental Leave Benefits

Parental leave is available for the birth, placement, or adoption of your child.  

If both you and your spouse/partner are college employees, only one primary caregiver leave can be granted. 

An employee is only eligible for primary caregiver leave if the employee plans to return to work for at least a three month period following the leave.

Primary Caregiver

An employee who takes primary responsibility for the care of a newborn or newly adopted child is eligible for twelve weeks of paid leave at the employee’s normal weekly pay within the 12 months following the birth or adoption of the child. A primary caregiver should be that person who takes primary responsibility for the care of an infant or child the majority of the time.  In order to exercise the primary caregiver benefit, an employee must complete an Affidavit of Parental Leave stating that the employee is the primary person responsible for the child. This policy depends on, and assumes, the good faith of its participants. If at any time it is determined that any information in an Affidavit of Parental Leave is not true, or if leave circumstances change and you are no longer qualified for paid parental leave, all paid benefits will cease. Paid parental leave is available only for the period of time the employee normally works (i.e., if you work an academic-year schedule, you are not eligible for paid parental leave during the summer).

Non-Primary Caregiver

An employee who is not the primary caregiver of a newborn or newly adopted child is eligible for up to four weeks of paid parental leave at the employee’s normal weekly rate of pay (although the employee may be eligible for additional paid leave under MA PFML).  Paid parental leave is available only for the period of time the employee normally works (i.e., if you work an academic-year schedule, you are not eligible for paid parental leave during the summer).

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (the “PWFA”) expressly prohibits employment discrimination based on pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions. The college does not discriminate against employees or applicants with respect to pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions (including post-pregnancy conditions such as the need to express breast milk for a nursing child).  

The college will not deny an employment opportunity or take adverse action against an employee because of the employee’s pregnancy, pregnancy-related condition, or request for reasonable accommodation.  Likewise, the college will not refuse to hire a pregnant applicant or an applicant with a pregnancy-related condition because of the pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition (provided the applicant can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation).  

Employees and applicants affected by pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions may request reasonable accommodations to allow them to perform the essential functions of their position.  Reasonable accommodations are modifications or adjustments that allow an employee or job applicant to perform the essential functions of the job while pregnant or experiencing pregnancy-related conditions, that can be provided without undue hardship to the college.  The college will not require a pregnant employee to accept a particular accommodation, including a leave of absence, if another reasonable accommodation would enable the employee to perform the essential job functions without undue hardship.  The employee may be required to provide documentation of the need for accommodation (no documentation will be required for: (i) more frequent restroom, food, or water breaks; (ii) seating; (iii) limits on lifting no more than 20 pounds; and (iv) private, non-bathroom space for expressing breast milk).

The college supports nursing mothers by accommodating the mother who wishes to express breast milk during her workday when separated from her newborn child. The college will grant nursing employees reasonable break times to express breast milk.  Breaks of more than twenty (20) minutes in length will be unpaid, and the employee should indicate this break period on the time record.  The college will provide a designated, private space for nursing employees to express breast milk that is free from intrusion from other employees and the public, and fitted with an electrical outlet, table and chair for ease and comfort.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this policy, please contact Human Resources.