Paid Parental Leave

GW provides up to six continuous weeks of paid parental leave for eligible regular full-time staff, medical residents and eligible Specialized Faculty (including Research Faculty). Paid parental leave applies to eligible employees who have given birth or are the spouse/partner of the birth mother; for the placement of a child (adoption, foster or other eligible custody); or for the placement of a child for whom the employee permanently assumes and discharges parental responsibility.  Employees must meet eligibility criteria for paid parental leave prior to the start of the qualifying birth or placement of a child.

Except in certain limited circumstances, adoption of a spouse’s or partner’s child(ren) is excluded from this policy.

Eligibility

Eligibility for paid parental leave will begin the first of the month following an employee’s two year benefit eligible service anniversary date or coincident with that date if the anniversary date falls on the first of the month. If a regular full-time staff member, medical resident or eligible specialized faculty member ends employment and is then rehired into another regular full-time position within 12 months; previous service will apply towards the two year service requirement. Eligible employees are eligible for up to six weeks of paid parental leave one time during a defined 12-month period.  In the event that an employee has more than one birth or placement of a child during this defined period, other university leave programs may still apply (e.g., FMLA, short term disability, sick and annual leave).

GW paid short-term disability and paid parental run concurrently when applicable. If the employee is also approved for GW paid short-term disability while on paid parental leave, the disability pay will take priority over the paid parental leave pay and be paid first. Pay will not exceed 100% of the employee’s normal salary.

Faculty

Regular faculty should refer to Parental Childcare Leave policy contained in the Faculty Code. Specialized Faculty (including Research Faculty) with two years of benefits eligible service and who are not eligible for Faculty Parental Childcare leave and are paid partially or fully by a grant, are eligible for paid parental leave. If the faculty member is also approved for GW paid disability while on parental leave, the disability pay will take priority over the paid parental leave pay and be paid first. Pay will not exceed 100% of the employee’s normal salary.

Residents

Medical Residents with two years of benefits eligible service are eligible for paid parental leave. If the resident is also approved for Resident Temporary Disability while on parental leave, the disability pay will take priority over the paid parental leave pay and be paid first. Pay will not exceed 100% of the employee’s normal salary.

Please note that Residents who are the birth mother are actually eligible for more paid leave under the Temporary Disability Leave than Paid Parental Leave.

Leave use

Paid parental leave covers up to six continuous weeks for the birth mother and/or the partner, adoptive or foster parent. In most cases, paid parental leave must be taken immediately following the birth or placement of a child and may not be taken intermittently. For birth mothers, paid parental leave will run concurrently with short-term disability coverage. If a holiday falls within an approved GW paid parental Leave payment period, an employee will be compensated for that day as paid parental leave pay and not holiday pay.

In certain situations paid parental leave may be granted up to six months prior to or following an adoption or foster placement when deemed necessary to fulfill the legal requirements of the placement but may not be taken intermittently.  Leave must be completed within 12 months of the placement date. Employees must meet eligibility criteria for paid parental leave prior to the start of the qualifying placement of a child.

If an employee elects to use paid parental leave, it will run concurrently with Family and Medical Leave (FMLA), if an employee is also eligible for FMLA leave at the same time. If the employee is eligible for both paid parental leave and FMLA leave, the university’s FMLA policy will govern use of paid parental leave, including the requirement, if applicable, to provide a return to work authorization form prior to returning to work.

Employees wishing to take paid parental leave must complete all required university forms, including Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms and short term disability forms (if applicable), and return the forms to GW’s Benefits Administration department. The forms and additional instructions can be found on the Benefits Administration's Leave of Absence website. When practicable, employees should provide a minimum of 30 days advance notice to GW’s Benefits Administration department of the need to take paid parental and/or FMLA leave. While on paid parental leave, employees continue to receive the same university benefits as when actively working, including accrual of sick and annual leave. All GW-paid contributions continue. Eligible employees receive their regular rate of pay while on paid parental leave.

An employee on paid parental leave will be reinstated to the same position he or she held when paid parental leave began or, in the university’s sole discretion, to a position with equivalent pay and benefits, provided that the employee can perform the essential functions of the position. The employee will not be restored to any position if the employment relationship would have terminated had the employee not taken paid parental leave; or the employee informs the university of his or her intent not to return to work at the expiration of the paid parental leave; or the employee fails to return to work at the expiration of the paid parental leave.

Employees covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements

An employee who is covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement should review the Agreement for information on applicability of this policy.

To apply for FMLA and GW Paid Parental Leave for an upcoming birth, adoption or foster care placement, please contact the Benefits Administration Department at 571.553.8382 or visit Benefits Administration's Leave of Absence website. 

Policy updated on November 20, 2016.