Maternity & Parental Leave
Under Washington State Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) pregnant mothers are entitled to pregnancy disability leave based on her individual condition for recovery, as determined by her health care provider (generally 6-8 weeks) and includes any period of disability prior to delivery.
If eligible for Washington Family Leave Act (WFLA), she may take an additional 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with the baby. This leave does not run concurrently with the pregnancy disability leave. WFLA does run concurrently with federal FMLA.
If eligible for FMLA/WFLA, leave can be taken to care for and bond with a healthy newborn, newly adopted or placed foster child.
Leave must be used within 12 months of birth or placement. Reduced schedule and intermittent leave is subject to departmental approval.
Leave is unpaid, but accrued sick leave, vacation leave, compensatory time, or Personal Holiday can be substituted.
Impact of leave on benefits
Pregnancy Disability Leave
This provision does not provide employer benefit coverage. For benefit continuation, you must be in pay status (minimum 8 hours per month).
FMLA and WFLA
While an employee is on an approved FMLA eligible leave of absence, Western will continue to pay for the employer portion of an employee’s health insurance premiums (regardless if the leave is unpaid) under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had continued to work. Employees are always responsible for payment of their portion of their health insurance premiums during an FMLA approved leave.
For any additional leave taken beyond FMLA or if not eligible for FMLA, then employees must be in pay status (minimum 8 hours per month) to ensure benefits continuation or they have the option to maintain medical and dental benefits at the employee’s own expense through COBRA.
How to request Maternity/Parental Leave
- Provide notice to supervisor and Human Resources of need for leave with at least 30-days advance notice when the need is foreseeable and when notice is practicable.
- Provide verification for need of leave:
- Pregnancy Medical Certification completed by a health care provider, or
- If adopting or fostering of a child, provide verification from agency handling placement.
- Submit a Leave Request Form or Faculty Leave Request Form to supervisor/chair.
Before you return to work:
- PRO – U5410.03A Requesting Family or Medical Leave
- PRO – U5410.03B Reporting Intermittent Family or Medical Leave
- Professional Staff Time and Leave Reporting Guidelines