Leave for Childbirth, Childcare, and Adoption
This information is intended to assist employees with their childbirth, childcare, and adoption planning. It is recommended that employees call, or schedule an appointment with Human Resources early in their planning process to discuss leave entitlements, procedures, and options.
Employees are encouraged to inform their supervisor or department chair of a pregnancy or adoption promptly, so that planning can begin. Employees should notify Human Resources of their need for leave at least 30 days in advance of the anticipated start date.
Accrual Usage and Disability Period
As a public state agency, The University at Albany does not provide a paid maternity leave. In order to stay in pay status during a leave, employees must use accrued leave credits. Sick leave may only be used during a period of medical disability. Disabilities arising from pregnancy or childbirth are treated the same as other disabilities in terms of eligibility for, or entitlement to, sick leave. New York State defines the period of disability for an uncomplicated pregnancy as beginning up to four weeks prior to the anticipated date of delivery and continuing up to six weeks after delivery, or eight weeks after a Caesarean section. Beyond the period of disability, employees may charge accrued leave credits (if available) other than sick leave to remain in pay status. Spouses may use sick leave credits for the day of delivery and for the convalescent period immediately following hospitalization, generally one week.
If medical complications that would extend a period of disability arise, contact Time Records at (518) 437-4709 for guidance. Medical documentation can be submitted directly to Human Resources by employees or their medical provider (marked "confidential"). The Human Resource fax number is (518) 437-4731. All medical documentation should be sent directly to HR, not to the employee’s supervisor or department.
State union agreements provide employees, regardless of gender, with up to seven months of child care leave without pay. Vacation and/or holiday accruals may be used, if available, during child care leave to remain in a paid status. However, the use of accruals will not extend the seven month period. The seven months include the disability period following birth. Employees should discuss the terms of the leave (start date/anticipated return date) with their supervisor. This leave can be available to either parent. If both parents are State employees, leave for child care will be approved for one parent at a time and the parents may elect to split the mandatory seven month leave into two separate blocks of leave with each parent entitled to one continuous period of leave but not to exceed a combined total of seven months of leave and not to extend beyond seven months from the date of delivery.
When an employee requests child care leave following, or prior to adopting, documentation of a legal adoption is required to qualify for such leave. Leave may start at any time after the child begins living with the adoptive parents, through the effective date of adoption and beyond, up to seven inclusive months. Contact Human Resources for additional information.
Family Medical Leave (FMLA)
FMLA is a federal law which provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave with continuation of certain benefits to eligible employees. An FMLA leave runs concurrently with disability and child care leave (birth or adoption). Eligibility for FMLA requires a minimum of one year of service and having worked at least 1,250 hours within the 12 months immediately preceding the leave. Eligible employees should apply for child birth, child care, and adoption leave through the FMLA process. Additional information can be found on our FMLA page.
Leave Donation Program
Eligible employees can donate vacation accruals to other employees out on a medical leave. The Leave Donation Program is available to Union-Affiliated and M/C employees who meet the eligibility requirements. Please visit our Leave Donation page for additional information.
Sick Leave at Half Pay – Eligible Classified Staff Only
Sick Leave at Half Pay is available to Classified Staff members who meet the eligibility requirement. Please visit our Classified Leave page for additional information.
Voluntary Reduction in Work Schedule (VRWS)
Eligible employees can reduce pay percentage while working full time to “bank” paid time off for future use within a year with departmental approval. Employees are encouraged to contact Human Resources as far in advance as possible to allow enough time to “bank” leave before it’s needed. Please visit http://www.goer.ny.gov/Employee_Resources/VRWS.cfm for additional information.
- Health Insurance Coverage
While on the payroll during a leave of absence employees continue to be responsible for only the employee share of their health insurance. During an approved Family Medical Leave (FMLA) absence, employees continue to be responsible for only the employee share of their health insurance even when in leave without pay status. If an employee is not eligible for FMLA or has exhausted their FMLA entitlement (maximum of 12 weeks) they would be responsible for the full health insurance premium (employee plus employer share) during a period of leave without pay. During a period of leave without pay employees will be billed for their health insurance coverage. If coverage is suspended or cancelled during a period of leave without pay, there will be a waiting period before health insurance will become effective again after a return to the payroll. Employees should contact the Office of Employee Benefits if they have any questions regarding benefits during a leave of absence.
- Dental and Vision Coverage
State administered (PEF, M/C, NYSCOPBA, PBANYS) dental and vision coverage will continue during a period of Family Medical Leave, and/or while an employee remains on the payroll (at a benefit eligible level) during a leave of absence. This coverage is automatically terminated once an employee enters a non-FMLA leave without pay status. Employees seeking to continue dental and/or vision coverage while on a non-FMLA should notify the Office of Employee Benefits to obtain and complete a PS-404 form. Employees represented by CSEA or UUP should contact the CSEA Employee Benefit Trust Fund or the UUP Benefit Trust Fund regarding their dental and vision coverage.
Contributions to retirement plans are based on wages earned. Contributions will not be made for earnings lost during leave without pay. Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) members will not receive service credit for periods of leave without pay (excluding Workers’ Compensation leave).
- Other Benefits
Employees that have personal insurances or other benefits through payroll deduction should make arrangements with each provider to make direct payments while on leave without pay. This also applies if your check during a pay period is not sufficient to support the deduction(s). Employees should contact the Office of Employee Benefits if they have any questions regarding benefits during a leave of absence.
- Leave Accruals and Holidays
Holidays that fall during a period of leave without pay will not be paid.
Classified Staff - If an employee is on leave without pay for more than 3 days during a pay period, they will not earn accruals for that pay period. Faculty and
Professional Staff - If an employee is on leave without pay for the majority of a month, they will not earn accruals for that month.
- Permanent or Continuing Appointment (Tenure) Timeline
Periods of leave without pay or less than 100% pay will extend the time towards permanent or continuing appointment, but will not be considered an interruption in otherwise continuous service. Faculty may request to be placed in qualified rank for leave periods including full pay to stop the tenure clock, which will be approved at the discretion of the department.