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Policy 4.125
Parental Leave for Staff, Librarians, and Post Doctoral Fellows

Responsible Official: VP for Human Resources
Administering Division/Department: Leaves of Absence
Effective Date: June 01, 2016
Last Revision: October 11, 2017

Policy Sections:


Emory University provides paid parental leave to eligible staff employees,librarians, and post-doctoral fellows who experience the birth or adoption of a child. This policy does not apply to students (undergraduate, graduate, or professional), medical house staff or faculty. Medical house staff have a separate parental leave policy, and should contact the GME office for parental leave matters. Faculty also have a separate parental leave policies and should contact their Dean's office for parental leave matters.

The policy applies to births and adoptions that occur on or after June 1, 2016.


Regular staff employees with twelve consecutive months of benefits eligibile service immediately prior to a birth or adoption and who are regularly scheduled to work at least 20 or more hours per workweek are eligible for paid parental leave. Temporary employees are not eligible for paid parental leave.

If both parents are eligible staff employed by Emory University, each parent is eligible for paid parental leave as defined below.

Policy Details

Eligible full-time employees scheduled to work 40 hours per week receive three weeks (120 hours) of paid parental leave when they experience the birth or adoption of a child. Parental leave must be taken within the first twelve months of the date of birth or when either the employee or their spouse is the birth or adoptive parent. Leave may be taken all at one time, or intermittently in full or half days only. Parental leave can only be taken after the date of birth or adoption occurs.

Eligible full-time employees scheduled to work 40 hours per week receive three weeks of paid parental leave, pro-rated for their work schedule (standard hours divided by 40 hours x 120 hours = prorated leave hours). For example, an eligible employee who is scheduled to work 32 hours per week would receive 96 hours of paid parental leave.

The amount of parental leave available is based on the scheduled work hours at the time of the birth or adoption. For example, if an employee is scheduled to work 40 hours per week at the time of the birth or adoption, but reduces their schedule to 30 hours per week after two months, the emplyee will be eligible for the full 120 hours of leave based on their work schedule at the time of the birth or adoption.

Parental leave does not apply for foster care placement.

Coordination with FMLA

Emory's Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child for employees who have been employed for 12 months and have at least worked 1,250 hours in the year prior to requesting leave. Paid parental leave may be taken during the FMLA period, or any time within the first 12 months after the birth or adoption event. Paid parental leave does not extend or shorten the FMLA period.

Consideration shall be given to all paid parental leave requests not designated as FMLA and granted based on the business needs of the department and the university. Supervisors are encouraged to be flexible in granting approval for parental leave requests not designated as FMLA. Employees are strongly encouraged to plan in advance in anticipation that they will use this leave and communicate their plans to their supervisors.

Coordination with Short-Term Disability Benefits for the Birth Mother

Employees who have enrolled in short-term disability insurance may receive payments from their insurance provider during the first six to eight weeks after the birth of a child. Disability insurance will not affect eligibility for paid parental leave. The birth mother may use paid parental leave days during the short-term disability elimination period, or after the short-term disability benefit has been used. Paid Parental Leave cannot be used while the employee is receiving short-term disability benefits.

Coordination with Sick and Vacation Leave

Eligibility for paid parental leave does not affect the accrual of sick vacation leave. The employee will continue to accrue leave during the parental leave.

During FMLA designated leave, sick leave must be used before vacation leave, but parental leave can be used at any time, regardless of whether sick or vacation leave will also be used during the FMLA period.

Outside the FMLA period, parental leave may be used at any time,and there is no specific order for using parental leave, sick or vacation leave. However, sick leave can only be used for eligible reasons according to the sick leave policy.

Applying for the Benefit--Eligibility Documentation

Eligibility for paid parental leave is managed through an online FMLA Leave Request located in PeopleSoft Self Service, even if leave is planned to be taken outside the FMLA period. The employee will be required to provide evidence of birth or adoption.

If supporting documentation is not received through the online FMLA Request process before the leave begins, paid parental leave cannot be used until the documentation is provided. Sick or vacation leave may be used and paid parental leave can be retroactively applied once the documentation is complete, at the employee's request. If the documentation is not received and the employee does not have sufficient sick and/or vacation time accrued to cover the leave taken, the time will be considered unpaid leave. However, once the documentation is complete, paid parental leave may be applied retroactively at the employee's request.

Employees are strongly encouraged to submit the online FMLA request as early as possible (at least 30 days in advance)so that documentation and approval are complete before the birth or adoption occurs.

An employee is responsible for notifying his/her immediate supervisor or designee at least 30 days before the leave is expected to begin (when possible). For planning purposes, it is very important for the employee and supervisor to be in close communication about when the parental leave will be used.

Tracking Leave Days

For monthly paid staff and librarians, leave requests and approvals will be processed through the Exempt Leave Tracking System.

For biweekly paid staff, leave requests and approvals should be processed through the Emory Timecard Adjustment System (ETAS).

For post-doctoral fellows, leave is tracked according to departmental practices.

Usage and Overtime

Paid parental leave hours for biweekly paid employees are not added to hours worked in the computation of overtime; instead, the paid parental leave hours will be reduced so that the hours worked plus paid parental leave do not exceed 40 hours per work week. Any unused paid parental leave hours from such a reduction will remain available for the employee to use in another week.


In the unfortunate scenario of a stillbirth or loss of the child following delivery, either parent will qualify for paid parental leave for recovery from the loss within six weeks of the event.

Related Links

Contact Information

Director, Employee Relations  Jeanne Thigpen  (404) 727-7644  persjdt@emory.edu  

Revision History