3.57 / Paid Parental Leave Program for Employees

  1. Purpose

    The purpose of this policy is to implement the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) Paid Parental Leave policy at Wichita State University (University) to provide a period of paid leave to eligible employees following the birth or adoption of a child (Qualifying Event). This policy shall apply to Qualifying Events that occur on or after July 1, 2019.

  2. Policy Statement

    Employees designated as a Primary or Secondary Caregiver following a Qualifying Event may be eligible for Paid Parental Leave at 100% of their base rate of pay in accordance with the provisions of this policy. Paid Parental Leave may be granted to eligible employees of the University to be used in the first twelve (12) weeks (Benefit Period) following a Qualifying Event.

    Eligible employees designated as the Primary Caregiver may receive up to six (6) weeks of Paid Parental Leave during the Benefit Period. Eligible employees designated as the Secondary Caregiver may receive up to three (3) weeks of Paid Parental Leave during the Benefit Period.

    An eligible employee for Paid Parental Leave may apply when all the following criteria are met:

    • The employee must be a Benefits-Eligible Employee, and
    • The employee has at least twelve (12) months of continuous service with the State of Kansas, and
    • The employee is requesting leave to be a Primary or Secondary Caregiver for a Qualifying Event that occurs on or after the effective date of this policy, and
    • The employee is in Paid Status at the time of the request for leave, and
    • The employee follows the outlined procedures for this policy.

    If the employee is eligible for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the employee must have applied for and been approved for FMLA coverage for birth or adoption of a child when requesting Paid Parental Leave. When the employee qualifies for FMLA for birth or adoption of a child and Paid Parental leave, the two benefits will run concurrently. (Refer to University Policy 3.34 / Family and Medical Leave Act for more information.)

  3. Definitions (for the purposes of this policy)

    • Benefit Period: The twelve (12)-week period immediately following the Qualifying Event.

    • Benefit-Eligible Employee: An employee of the University holding a 0.5 full-time equivalency (FTE) or greater position at the University as a faculty member, an unclassified professional employee or a University support staff employee. Employees of affiliated corporations are not included in this definition except to the extent they otherwise meet the criteria as a University employee stated in this paragraph

    • Leader: Individuals at the University who have Benefit-Eligible Employees reporting to them or are Department Chairs/Directors.

    • Paid Status: A period of active appointment. This status does not extend to periods during which an employee is receiving pay (e.g. salary spread) but not on active appointment.

    • Parent: A biological or adoptive mother or father.

    • Primary Caregiver: An employee who is a parent of a newborn or newly adopted child with primary child-rearing responsibility.

    • Qualifying Event: A birth or placement of a child for adoption (up to six (6) years of age) occurring on or after the effective date of this policy.

    • Secondary Caregiver: An employee who is a parent of a newborn or newly adopted child with secondary child-rearing responsibility (i.e. shares caregiving with the primary caregiver).

  4. Procedures

    If an employee meets all the above referenced eligibility requirements, the following procedures apply for Paid Parental Leave. (Additional information related to Paid Parental Leave is available on the WSU Human Resources website.)

    1. The employee must provide at least thirty (30) days advanced written notice to their Leader of their intent to request leave unless extenuating circumstances arise.
    2. The Paid Parental Leave request is submitted to Human Resources for review and final determination. Each request for Paid Parental Leave is reviewed to determine if the request meets program eligibility requirements.
    3. Employees granted Paid Parental Leave will continue to accrue sick leave, vacation leave, and all other regular benefits, in accordance with applicable rules, regulations, KBOR policies, and statutes.
    4. Paid Parental Leave must be taken within the twelve (12)-week Benefit Period immediately following the date of a Qualifying Event.
    5. Taking Leave for a Qualifying Event:
      1. Leave must be taken in one (1) continuous block of time within the Benefit Period unless the employee’s department approves a different schedule (i.e. reduced/part-time or intermittent leave).
      2. Leave will not be granted after the Benefit Period. Any amount of Paid Parental Leave not utilized by the eligible employee during the Benefit Period shall be forfeited.
      3. Any Paid Parental Leave shall run concurrently with leave permitted under FMLA, if applicable.
      4. Paid Parental Leave only applies during periods when the employee is in Paid Status. Employees on academic year or less than twelve (12)-month appointments may not request or receive Paid Parental Leave for periods when not in Paid Status.
      5. Employees may be permitted to take leave of other types (i.e., sick leave and vacation leave) in addition to the six (6) or three (3) weeks of Paid Parental Leave, in accordance with other applicable University policies.
    6. Leave under this policy is not transferrable and cannot be donated through any program, including the Shared Leave program.
    7. This policy shall not be construed as prohibiting the University from providing additional leave beyond the amount of time permitted under this policy, to the extent allowed by applicable rule, regulation, KBOR policy or statute, or from temporarily reassigning an eligible employee’s duties while the employee is on Paid Parental Leave.
  5. Exceptions and Special Circumstances

    1. If more than one (1) eligible employee is designated as a caregiver for the same Qualifying Event, one (1) employee must be designated as the Primary Caregiver and one (1) employee must be designated as the Secondary Caregiver. In such instances, the two (2) eligible employees may take Paid Parental Leave concurrently, consecutively, or at different times from one another within the Benefit Period immediately following the Qualifying Event.

    2. For eligible part-time employees, the leave shall be pro-rated based on their part-time appointment for the applicable timeframe.

    3. Official and observed holidays do not count against Paid Parental Leave. An employee utilizing Paid Parental Leave during an occurrence of an official or observed holiday shall receive holiday pay on the holiday.

    4. The occurrence of a birth or adoption of multiple children (i.e., the birth or adoption of twins) does not increase the length of Paid Parental Leave for that Qualifying Event.

    5. Employees taking leave for reasons not related to birth or adoption of a child (e.g. care of a child with a serious health condition following birth or adoption) are not be eligible for Paid Parental Leave.