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Paid Parental Leave

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    Title:

    Paid Parental Leave

    Publication date:

    8/2/2019

    Effective date:

    3/8/2019

    BRIEF

    Policy Summary

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recognizes that supporting our employees’ needs to balance career and family life benefits employees and their families, as well as Berkeley Lab.

    Leave under this policy provides an eligible parent with approved paid leave to care for and bond with a newborn or a newly adopted child. This Paid Parental Leave policy serves as an addition to paid leave already provided by Berkeley Lab’s existing Sick Leave and Vacation policies.

    Who Should Read This Policy

    • This policy applies to eligible non-represented employees.
    • Represented employees should consult their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

    To Read the Full Policy, Go To:

    The Policy link on this page.

    Contact Information

    For more information, employees may contact the Berkeley Lab Integrated Disability and Absence Management (IDAM) team at (844) 361-4594 or disabilitymanagement@lbl.gov.

    Title:

    Paid Parental Leave

    Publication date:

    8/2/2019

    Effective date:

    3/8/2019

    POLICY

    A. Purpose

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) recognizes that supporting our employees’ needs to balance career and family life benefits employees and their families, as well as Berkeley Lab.

    Leave under this policy provides an eligible parent with approved paid leave to care for and bond with a newborn or a newly adopted child. This Paid Parental Leave policy serves as an addition to paid leave already provided by Berkeley Lab’s existing Sick Leave and Vacation  policies.

    B. Persons Affected

    • This policy applies to eligible non-represented employees.
    • Represented employees should consult their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

    C. Exceptions

    Requests for exceptions that exceed what is allowed under this policy, or that are not expressly addressed, are considered exceptions to policy. A request for a policy exception requires, at a minimum, the approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO)

    D. Policy Statement

    1. General

      1. Berkeley Lab will provide up to four consecutive workweeks (twenty working days) of Paid Parental Leave to eligible employees to bond with their newborn child or a child the employee has adopted.

      2. Leave must be initiated and concluded within one year from the birth or placement of the child.

      3. Eligible part-time employees will be provided Paid Parental Leave on a pro-rata basis relative to the employee’s appointment percentage at the time leave is taken.

      4. During Paid Parental Leave, employees will receive pay at the employee’s regular base rate at the current appointment percentage.
    1. Eligibility and Authority

      1. The following employee classifications are eligible for Paid Parental Leave: Career, Term, Visiting Researcher, non-represented Postdoctoral Fellow, and Limited working 50% or more (fixed time).
      2. Employees are eligible for Paid Parental Leave if one of the following occurs:
        1. The employee has recently given birth to a child.
        2. The employee’s spouse or qualifying domestic partner has recently given birth to the employee’s child.
        3. The employee has recently adopted a child.
        4. The employee is having a child via gestational carrier (surrogate) or donor genetic material.
      3. Paid Parental Leave is available to eligible employees immediately upon hire.
      4. Eligibility is established as of the date of the child’s birth or, in the case of adoption, the date the child is placed with the employee. In the case of adoption, the child must be under 18 years of age at the time of placement with the employee and for the full duration of the Paid Parental Leave period.
      5. Employees experiencing stillbirth or miscarriage after the end of the first trimester of pregnancy will be eligible for leave under this policy. Leave under this policy is not available to an individual experiencing a miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy. However, the individual may be eligible for Family and Medical Leave (FML) for a serious health condition or pregnancy disability under the Family and Medical Leave  policy.
      6. During any period of Paid Parental Leave, employees are considered on leave status and should not engage in work activities. Employees should coordinate with their supervisor to plan for return from leave to their regular position and resumption of work activities.
    2. Usage
      1. Paid Parental Leave may be used following the birth or adoption of a child provided all eligibility requirements and other conditions of this policy are met.
      2. Paid Parental Leave must be initiated and concluded within one year of the birth of the child or, in the case of adoption, the date the child is placed with the employee. If an employee does not exercise the option to take any or all Paid Parental Leave under this policy within one year of the birth or placement of the child, that option is forfeited.
      3. Paid Parental Leave may be used in consecutive weeks (in one continuous block of time) or taken intermittently on two occasions of no less than two weeks in duration each.
      4. This policy provides for one Paid Parental Leave per employee per birth/adoption event. The number of children involved in any given birth or adoption does not increase the length of Paid Parental Leave granted for that event. However, an eligible employee may qualify for Paid Parental Leave more than once within a 12-month period if there are separate occurrences of birth and/or adoption.
      5. If eligible spouses or qualifying domestic partners are both employed by Berkeley Lab, they would each qualify for up to four workweeks of Paid Parental Leave per birth or adoption event.
      6. This policy does not authorize the pay out of any unused portion of Paid Parental Leave upon separation from employment and does not authorize any type of carry-over into the future.
    3. Notification
      1. Employees may apply for Paid Parental Leave by notifying their supervisor and contacting the Integrated Disability & Absence Management team regarding the request and intent to take leave. Spouses, qualifying domestic partners, or designated family members may submit the request on employees’ behalf if employees are not physically able to do so on their own.
      2. Employees are required to apply for Paid Parental Leave at least 30 calendar days in advance if the need for leave is foreseeable; if the need for leave is not foreseeable, employees should provide as much prior notice as possible. Failure to provide appropriate notice may result in a postponement of the Paid Parental Leave period based on operational need.
      3. The Integrated Disability & Absence Management team will provide employees requesting leave with information about whether they are eligible for Paid Parental Leave and, if so, specify any additional information required to process and approve the leave. If employees are not eligible for Paid Parental Leave, the Integrated Disability & Absence Management team will provide the reason for ineligibility and advise if alternate leave policies may apply.
    4. Certifications and Documentation. Employees initiating Paid Parental Leave will be required to provide an attestation of family relationship and birth or adoption necessary to support the need for Paid Parental Leave (consistent with those required to enroll the child into Health and Welfare benefits). Such documentation must be provided directly to the Integrated Disability & Absence Management team.
    5. Coordination of Leave and Pay. Employees requesting Paid Parental Leave may also qualify for FML taken as Pregnancy Disability Leave or Parental Bonding Leave under the Family and Medical Leave policy.
      1. Pregnancy Disability Leave. Employees on approved Pregnancy Disability Leave may begin using Paid Parental Leave only after disability leave payments end.
      2. Paid Parental Leave runs concurrently (at the same time) with FML and does not extend the maximum FML leave period beyond 12 workweeks in a calendar year.
      3. The following chart displays the interplay of Paid Parental Leave with FML Parental Bonding Leave:

        Participant Type

        Eligibility for FML under the FMLA/CFRA

        FML Parental Bonding Leave

        Laboratory’s Paid Parental Leave


        Lab employees who are birth mothers


        OR


        Lab employees whose spouse or domestic partner has given birth to their child


        If eligible for FML under the FMLA/CFRA

        Amount of Leave:

        • Up to 12 workweeks, provided the leave is taken before the baby’s first birthday.
        • This leave would be under the FMLA and/or CFRA, depending on the amount of leave entitlement the employee has remaining under each statute.
        • This leave runs concurrently) with Paid Parental Leave.

        Pay Status:

        • Leave is unpaid except for the portion that runs concurrently with Paid Parental Leave.
        • Employee may use accrued leave (vacation, sick leave) in accordance with the Lab’s Family and Medical Leave  policy during the portion of the leave that would otherwise be unpaid.

        Amount of Leave:

        • Up to four workweeks, which would run concurrently with the employee’s FML Parental Bonding Leave, provided the leave is taken before the baby’s first birthday.


        Pay Status:

        • Employee will receive pay at the employee’s regular base rate at the current appointment percentage, excluding any shift differential or other compensation.

        If not eligible for FML under the FMLA/CFRA

        Amount of Leave:

        • Not eligible unless/until employee qualifies for FML under the FMLA/CFRA.


        Pay Status:

        • N/A

        Amount of Leave:

        • Up to four workweeks, provided the leave is taken before the baby’s first birthday.


        Pay Status:

        • Employee will receive pay at the employee’s regular base rate at the current appointment percentage, excluding any shift differential or other compensation.


        Lab employees who adopt a child

        If eligible for FML under the FMLA/CFRA

        Amount of Leave:

        • Up to 12 workweeks, provided the leave is taken within 12 months of the child’s placement.
        • This leave would be under the FMLA and/or CFRA, depending on the amount of leave entitlement the employee has remaining under each statute.
        • This leave runs concurrently with Paid Parental Leave.


        Pay Status:

        • Leave is unpaid except for the portion that runs concurrently with Paid Parental Leave.
        • Employee may use accrued leave (vacation, sick leave) in accordance with the Lab’s FML policy during the portion of the leave that would otherwise be unpaid.

        Amount of Leave:

        • Up to four workweeks, which would run concurrently with the employee’s FML Parental Bonding Leave, provided the leave is taken within 12 months of the child’s placement.


        Pay Status:

        • Employee will receive pay at the employee’s regular base rate at the current appointment percentage, excluding any shift differential or other compensation.

        If not eligible for FML under the FMLA/CFRA

        Amount of Leave:

        • Not eligible unless/until employee qualifies for FML under the FMLA/CFRA.


        Pay Status:

        • N/A

        Amount of Leave:

        • Up to four workweeks, provided the leave is taken within 12 months of the child’s placement.


        Pay Status:

        • Employee will receive pay at the employee’s regular base rate at the current appointment percentage, excluding any shift differential or other compensation.
    6. Benefits Continuance. While on Paid Parental Leave, the employee’s health and welfare benefits will continue as if the employee is actively working. This means the employee is considered to be on “paid status,” and the employee’s portion of benefit premiums (if any) will be deducted as usual by the payroll office. For questions about benefits continuance during FML taken as Parental Bonding Leave beyond the four workweeks of Paid Parental Leave, refer to the Family and Medical Leave  policy.

    E. Roles and Responsibilities

    Role Responsibility
    Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) Has the functional responsibility for administration of this policy. Authority to approve exceptions to policy.
    Employees Adhere to the provisions of this policy, including but not limited to requesting leave with the specified notice requirements outlined, when foreseeable and practicable.
    Integrated Disability and Absence Management (IDAM) team Advise management and employees on how to comply with this policy. Initiate Paid Parental Leave action. Advise supervisor, employee, and Laboratory Employee Timekeeping Systems (LETS) Timekeeper on time reporting codes.
    LETS Timekeepers Follow procedures in support of this policy where applicable for accurate time reporting in LETS, for effective tracking and reporting of paid leave time taken.
    Manager and Supervisor Adhere to the provisions of this policy, including notification to the IDAM team regarding employee requests for this type of leave in accordance with policy.

    F. Definitions/Acronyms

    Term/Acronym Definition
    CFRA California Family Rights Act
    Domestic Partner A domestic partner means the individual designated as an employee's domestic partner under one of the following methods: (i) registration of the partnership with the State of California; (ii) establishment of a same-sex legal union, other than marriage, formed in another jurisdiction that is substantially equivalent to a State of California-registered domestic partnership; or (iii) filing of a Declaration of Domestic Partnership form with the University. If an individual has not been designated as an employee's domestic partner by any of the foregoing methods, the following criteria are applicable in defining domestic partner: each individual is the other's sole domestic partner in a long-term, committed relationship with the intention to remain so indefinitely; neither individual is legally married, a partner in another domestic partnership, or related by blood to a degree of closeness that would prohibit legal marriage in the State of California; each individual is 18 years of age or older and capable of consenting to the relationship; the individuals share a common residence; and the individuals are financially interdependent.
    FMLA Family and Medical Leave Act
    Full-time Full-time status is fixed time at 40 hours per workweek.
    Part-time Part-time status is fixed time up to 39 hours per workweek.

    G. Recordkeeping Requirements

    None

    H. Contact Information

    For more information, employees may contact the Berkeley Lab Integrated Disability and Absence Management (IDAM) team at (844) 361-4594 or disabilitymanagement@lbl.gov.

    Feedback on human resources policies or procedures is welcomed. Send comments to hrpolicies@lbl.gov.

    I. Implementing Documents

    None 

    J. Revision History

    Date Revision By Whom Revision Description Section(s) Affected Change Type
    3/8/2019 0 W. Crosson New Policy All Major/30 day
    8/2/2019 1 W. Crosson Updated policy to include the Postdoctoral Fellow employee classification as eligible for Paid Parental Leave when not represented by a collective bargaining agreement. D.2.a. Minor

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    1. What is Paid Parental Leave?

    Paid Parental Leave is paid time off that eligible employees can use to bond with a new child. It supports taking the time needed for either the birth or adoption of a child.

    2. How much Paid Parental Leave is provided?

    Berkeley Lab’s Paid Parental Leave grants up to four weeks (20 working days) of Paid Parental Leave (prorated for part-time eligible employees). Other specific Berkeley Lab policies may allow for additional unpaid leave; therefore, contact the Human Resources Integrated Disability & Absence Management team for details.

    3. When can I take Paid Parental Leave?

    You can take Paid Parental Leave at any time during the first 12 months following the birth or placement of your child for adoption. However, leave must be taken within one year of your child’s birth or placement for adoption.

    4. Am I required to take Paid Parental Leave all at once?

    No, Paid Parental Leave can be taken in one continuous four-week block or can be taken twice for a duration of no less than two weeks each. All leave must be completed within 12 months of the child’s date of birth or placement for adoption.

    5. My spouse/domestic partner also works at Berkeley Lab. Do we have to take leave at the same time?

    No, you do not have to take leave at the same time as long as you both complete your respective leaves within 12 months of the child’s birth or placement with you for adoption.

    6. What if I became a parent prior to the Paid Parental Leave policy becoming effective?

    If the birth or adoption of your child occurred within 12 months of the policy becoming effective, you may still request Paid Parental Leave. Thirty days advance notice is required, and, if approved, your leave must be completed within 12 months of the policy effective date.

    7. If I became a parent prior to the Paid Parental Leave policy becoming effective and used my sick leave and/or vacation time, will I be reimbursed?

    No. However, if the birth or adoption of your child occurred within 12 months of the policy becoming effective, you may still request Paid Parental Leave. Thirty days advance notice is required, and, if approved, leave must be completed within 12 months of the policy effective date.

    8. I am planning to foster a child. Will I be able to take Paid Parental Leave?

    No, foster care is not covered under the Paid Parental Leave policy. However, you may be eligible to take leave for this reason under Berkeley Lab’s Family and Medical Leave policy (subject to the terms and conditions of the Family and Medical Leave policy).

    9. I plan to have a child via surrogacy. Will I be eligible for Paid Parental Leave?

    Yes. Berkeley Lab recognizes there are different pathways to becoming a parent; therefore, the policy supports having a child via gestational carrier (surrogate) or donor genetic material.

    10. If I give birth to twins or adopt more than one child at a time, will I be eligible for more than four weeks Paid Parental Leave?

    No, the birth or adoption of multiple children does not increase the length of leave approved for that event.

    11. I have recently become a step-parent to my spouse/domestic partner’s existing child(ren). Am I eligible for Paid Parental Leave?

    No, Paid Parental Leave is not available in this circumstance.

    12. I am adopting an older child, not an infant. Can I take Paid Parental Leave?

    Yes, the policy applies to adoption of any child under the age of 18.

    13. I am legally adopting a child and have physical custody pending finalization of the adoption. When can I begin Paid Parental Leave?

    You may begin leave at any point after you assume physical custody, provided you have documentation that the adoption is in process and your leave is completed within 12 months of you assuming physical custody.

    14. If I am working and my child becomes sick, can I use Paid Parental Leave?

    No, Paid Parental Leave is designed to address the specific needs of child bonding. However, you may be eligible to use your accrued sick leave and/or vacation, or, if your child has a serious health condition, you may qualify for unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave policy (subject to the terms and conditions of the Family Medical Leave policy).

    15. Will my benefits be affected during Paid Parental Leave?

    No. While on approved Paid Parental Leave, you remain on “full pay” status, which means Berkeley Lab will continue to pay its employer contribution to your elected benefits and you remain responsible for your employee contribution. While you are on paid leave, your premiums will continue to be deducted from your paycheck as usual.

    16. Will Paid Parental Leave impact my service credit?

    No. Because Paid Parental Leave is a paid leave (you are receiving salary), your service credit will continue to accrue as usual.

    17. What happens if I am on Paid Parental Leave during the winter holiday shutdown? Will my leave period be extended?

    No, the winter holiday shutdown period does not extend your leave based on Berkeley Lab being officially closed at the same time as your leave.

    18. Do I have to be eligible for leave under Berkeley Lab’s Family Medical Leave (FML) policy in order to take Paid Parental Leave?

    No, Berkeley Lab’s Paid Parental Leave policy is separate and distinct from the Family and Medical Leave policy (each have its own eligibility criteria). If you are not eligible for Family and Medical Leave, you may still be eligible for Paid Parental Leave.

    19. Does Paid Parental Leave run at the same time as other types of leave?

    Yes. When eligible, your Paid Parental Leave will run at the same time as other leaves such as leave authorized by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or state parental leave (California Family Rights Act). These leaves are referenced in Berkeley Lab’s Family and Medical Leave policy.

    20. Why does leave authorized by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Paid Parental Leave run at the same time?

    These leaves run at the same time because each has its own function during your leave. Family and Medical Leave protects your job and company benefits and Paid Parental Leave adds a period of salary continuation as well as job protection.

    21. The Family and Medical Leave policy allows me 12 weeks of leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Can I use Paid Parental Leave to extend that time?

    No. Paid Parental Leave is designed to run concurrently (at the same time) with Family and Medical Leave and does not extend the 12-week period. If you continue Family and Medical Leave after your four weeks of Paid Parental Leave, the remaining eight weeks of Family and Medical Leave will be unpaid. During this time, you may be eligible to use your accrued sick leave and/or vacation (subject to the terms and conditions of the Sick Leave, Vacation, and Family and Medical Leave policies).

    22. What is Short-Term Disability (STD)?

    STD benefits are a source of income while you are on leave due to a disability, injury, medical condition, or pregnancy. Depending on your coverage level, STD will start on either day 14 or 22 after your disability period begins (this is called the STD benefit “elimination” period) and can run for up to 26 weeks if you continue to be disabled. Contact the Benefits team for information on your STD coverage level.

    23. Do I need to apply for Paid Parental Leave, Family and Medical Leave, and Short-Term Disability at the same time?

    If you are a birth mother, you need to request information on how and when to apply for Paid Parental Leave, Family and Medical Leave, and Short-Term Disability all at one time. The Human Resources Integrated Disability & Absence Management team can help you by providing you with information on your leave and benefit eligibility and instructions on how to apply, as well as coordinate a leave plan that is specific to you.

    24. I am a birth mother and eligible for Short-Term Disability (STD) benefits. How does this work with Paid Parental Leave?

    You cannot receive Paid Parental Leave payments at the same time as Short-Term Disability payments. Once your period of pregnancy disability and STD ends (usually six weeks after the birth of your child for a normal delivery or eight weeks for Cesarean section) you are then eligible to receive Paid Parental Leave payments.

    25. What if I experience complications due to the birth of my child and need additional time off? How does this work with Short-Term Disability and Paid Parental Leave?

    If your doctor provides documentation stating you continue to be disabled due to childbirth (or a related condition), you may be eligible to continue leave under the Family and Medical Leave policy as well as continue your Short-Term Disability payments. Once your period of disability ends, you may then begin Paid Parental Leave and receive 100% of your income for up to four weeks.

    26. My spouse/domestic partner is having our baby and I am eligible for 12 weeks unpaid Family and Medical Leave to bond with my new child. How does this work with Paid Parental Leave and what happens to my pay and benefits?

    Your first four weeks of Paid Parental Leave, if used in a continuous block, will run at the same time as unpaid Family and Medical Leave. This means Berkeley Lab will pay 100% of your income during this time and your normal benefit deductions will be taken out of your paycheck as usual. The remaining eight weeks of your leave will be unpaid Family and Medical Leave and you may be eligible to use your accrued sick leave and vacation during this unpaid period (subject to the terms and conditions of the Sick Leave and Vacation policies. The continuance of your health insurance and other employee-paid benefits will be subject to the terms and conditions of the Family and Medical Leave policy.

    27. Can I work part time during Paid Parental Leave?

    No, Paid Parental Leave does not provide for changes or reduction in work schedule.

    28. Can I get pay increases while on leave?

    Yes. If you get a pay increase while you are on Paid Parental Leave, your base pay will be adjusted accordingly.

    29. Will my Paid Parental Leave payments be included in my regular paycheck or a separate check?

    Paid Parental Leave payments will show in your regular paycheck.

    30. I am new to Berkeley Lab and did not complete my new hire probationary period prior to going on Paid Parental Leave. What can I expect on my return to work?

    Your probationary period will be extended by four weeks provided you took the full four weeks of Paid Parental Leave during your probationary period. This action will allow you the time you would have had to acclimate and be rated in relation to your new role. Paid Parental Leave taken for less than the full four weeks will not extend the probationary period.

    31. If I take Paid Parental Leave, will I be reinstated to my position when I return to work?

    Yes, you will be reinstated to your same or a comparable job unless layoffs occur, or appointments are ended in accordance with policy.

    32. Do I need to submit paperwork to Berkeley Lab before returning to work?

    If you gave birth, you need to submit a medical certification to Health Services upon your return to work. This certification verifies that you are healthy enough to return to your job (with or without accommodation).

    33. What can I do if I am not eligible for Paid Parental Leave?

    Federal, state, or local laws may offer you other unpaid leave rights or benefits. Call the Human Resources Integrated Disability & Absence Management team to see what benefits might be available to you.

    34. Where can I learn more about Paid Parental Leave and how do I request it?

    If you have questions about Paid Parental Leave, please do not hesitate to contact Berkeley Lab’s Human Resources Integrated Disability & Absence Management team at (844) 361-4594 or disabilitymanagement@lbl.gov. For Paid Parental Leave requests, please contact us at least 30 days in advance — sooner if possible — so you can plan for your time away.

    Title:

    Paid Parental Leave

    Document number

    02.07.026.000

    Revision number

    1

    Publication date:

    8/2/2019

    Effective date:

    3/8/2019

    Next review date:

    3/28/2022

    Policy Area:

    Leaves of Absence

    RPM Section (home)

    Human Resources

    RPM Section (cross-reference)

    none

    Functional Division

    Human Resources

    Prior reference information (optional)


    Source Requirements Documents

    None

    Implementing Documents


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