This policy describes the parental leave benefits that the State of Texas provides to eligible employees in accordance with the General Provisions of the State General Appropriations Act and Texas Government Code, Section 661.913. This policy complies with University of Houston System Administrative Memorandum 02.D.08. (References)
UHV employees who have not met the employee eligibility requirements for the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are entitled to parental leave for the following qualifying conditions:
- The birth of a child to the employee and the care of the newborn
- The placement of a child under three years of age with an employee in connection with the adoption or state-approved foster care of the child
Leave taken for these events must be reported as parental leave.
The eligible employee is entitled to a maximum of 12 weeks of approved parental leave in a year, as defined in this policy. The employee may take a shorter leave. Employees who meet the eligibility requirements of parental leave are entitled to benefits under UHV Policy C-26, Family and Medical Leave. (References)
It is the policy of the University to ensure equal opportunity in all its educational programs and activities, and all terms and conditions of employment without regard to age, race, color, disability, religion, national origin, veteran’s status, genetic information, or sex (including pregnancy), except where such a distinction is required by law. Additionally, UHV prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment and educational programs on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. For the University’s official Non-Discrimination Statement, see UHV Policy C-5. (References)
Child: For the purposes of parental leave, a biological, adopted, or foster child under three years of age
Eligible employee: For the purposes of parental leave, and as documented in Texas Government Code, Section 661.913, any employee who:
- Has worked for the State of Texas for a period of time less than 12 months; and/or
- Has fewer than 1,250 hours actually worked for the State of Texas in the 12-month period immediately preceding the leave.
Year: Twelve months measured forward from the first date parental leave begins
Other applicable definitions may be found in UHV Policy C-26. (References)
An eligible employee must use all applicable accrued paid leave (including sick leave and vacation) while taking parental leave. The use of accrued sick leave is, however, restricted to those circumstances that would otherwise qualify the employee for sick leave usage under state law and university rules and regulations governing the use of sick leave in accordance with UHV Policy C-1, Leaves of Absence. The employee must use accrued compensatory time, instead of unpaid parental leave. Any FLSA compensatory time (1.5) taken may be counted against the employee's 12-week parental leave entitlement. (References) Any vacation and sick leave earned while on a paid Parental Leave may not be used unit the employee actively returns to work.
Employees with less than six months of continuous employment with the State of Texas are not eligible to take vacation under this policy.
A leave of absence extends the probationary period of employment by the amount of leave taken.
Parental leave may start no earlier than the date of birth of a natural child or adoption or foster care placement of the child.
Except under the conditions outlined in UHV Policy C-26, Family and Medical Leave, employees returning from approved parental leave within the provisions of this policy shall be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment, however:
- An employee offered an equivalent position who chooses to decline the position waives any rights to reinstatement.
- An employee who believes that a position offered is not an equivalent position is entitled to file a grievance under UHV Policy C-21, Staff Employee Grievances. (References)
Other provisions relating to leave for birth, adoption, or foster care of a child under family and medical leave apply also to parental leave. Those provisions may be found in UHV Policy C-26.
All requests and forms for parental leave must be submitted to the Human Resource office, FMLA Coordinator. Employees should contact the FMLA Coordinator for guidance and information about the process.
Employees are responsible for notifying their supervisor and the FMLA Coordinator at least 30 calendar days in advance of the leave, where possible.
Full information must be provided as outlined in UHV Policy C-26, and the procedure for departmental processing of an application outlined in that policy shall be followed. (References)
To request leave based on the adoption or placement of a child, a copy of the legal order of adoption or placement is also required.
Employee Requirement for Return to Work:
Upon return to work, an employee who has been on approved leave for more than three days based on the employee's serious health condition (i.e. childbirth) will be required to present to the supervisor a doctor's release certifying fitness to return to work. This requirement does not apply to the father or adoptive/foster parent taking parental leave.
A request to return to duty with restrictions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on such concerns as the needs of the department, the essential functions of the job, and the type and extent of existing restrictions.
General Procedural Requirements
All insurance coverage, employee reporting requirements and record keeping for parental leave are the same as those for family and medical leave as outlined in UHV Policy C-26, Family and Medical Leave.
The Human Resources Office must be contacted within 30 days of the birth/adoption/ placement to include the new baby/child to the employee’s insurance if coverage is desired.
- UHV Policy C-1, Leaves of Absence
- UHV Policy C-5, Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement
- UHV Policy C-21, Staff Employee Grievances
- UHV Policy C-26, Family and Medical Leave
- Texas Government Code, Section 661.913
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- UHS Administrative Memorandum 02.D.08, Parental Leave
- Family and Medical Leave/Parental Leave Request
Raymond V. Morgan, Jr., Ph.D.
Originating department: Human Resources
Next Review Date: March, 2022 (5 years)