Managing Parental Care, Adoption or Infant Care Leaves

Parental Care, Adoption, or Infant Care leaves are leaves of absences available following the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child. This leave is available to the biological parents, parents of legally adopted or foster children and others in parental care relationships, to take care of a child.

There are two primary federal/state parental, adoption or infant care leaves as well as University policies and Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA). When applicable, all leaves will run concurrently.

Note: For Officers of Instruction/Libraries/Research, please review the Faculty Handbook.

Federal/State Parental Care Leaves

PFL provides eligible employees with job-protected, partial paid leave up to 10 weeks in 2020 (no change from 2019) to bond with the employee's child during the first twelve months after the child's birth, adoption, or foster care placement. 

PFL is available to employees working in New York State who have satisfied the eligibility requirements of either: a) working for at least 26 consecutive weeks if regularly working 20 hours or more per week or b) worked for at least 175 days if working less than 20 hours per week.

For more information on eligibility and benefits, visit:

FMLA provides eligible employees with a job-protected, unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks to bond with the employee's child during the first twelve months after the child's birth, adoption or foster care placement. 

FMLA is available to employees who have been employed by the University for at least 12 months, and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave.  See the FMLA policy for more information.

Reminder

Reminder

If the leave of absence is unpaid (i.e. FMLA) or partially paid (i.e. PFL), substitution of paid time off is permitted by using vacation time, personal time and NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time*, if applicable.

*Please note NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time provides eligible employees up to a maximum of 40 hours per fiscal year in paid sick time which can be used for illness or preventive care of one’s family member. For more information, see the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act Policy.

If the employee is covered under a CBA, the CBA should be consulted for more information.

University/CBA Leaves and Vacation/Holiday Pay

In addition to PFL and FMLA, Officers of Administration may be eligible for Columbia University's Parental Care Leave. Columbia's Parental Care Leave allows for an unpaid leave for up to six months. Full-Time Officers of Administration (including those in an Eleven-Month Program) and benefits-eligible Part-Time Officers of Administration, 9-Month and 10-Month Officers of Administration are eligible to apply for an unpaid leave of absence for Parental Care if they have been employed by the University for three months or longer. See the Parental Care policy for more information.

When applicable, all leaves will run concurrently.

    Vacation, Personal Days and Holiday Accrual
    There is no accrual of vacation, personal or holiday time during an extended leave of absence (30 calendar days or longer). For additional information regarding accrual for overlapping months, see the Officers Form Process for Managers page in the Time and Attendance section of the toolkit.

     

    In addition to PFL and FMLA, Non-Union Support Staff may be eligible for Columbia University's Parental Care Leave. Columbia's Parental Care Leave allows for an unpaid leave for up to six months. The Parental Care leave is available to NUSS employees if they have been employed by the University for three months or longer. See the Parental Care policy for more information.

    Vacation, Personal Days and Holiday Accrual
    There is no accrual of vacation, personal or holiday time.

     

    In addition to PFL and FMLA, 2110 members may be eligible for Infant Care leave.  An Infant Care Leave allows eligible 2110 employees to take a leave without pay for infant care purposes in addition to the sick and non-occupational disability leave, however, such leave shall not exceed ten (10) months in duration. Upon return from such leave the employee shall be returned to a job in the same or equivalent job classification.

    Infant Care leaves are available to 2110 employees who have completed nine (9) months of employment. Please refer to the CBA for more information

    When applicable, all leaves will run concurrently.

    Vacation and Holiday Pay While on Leave
    While on a paid leave, holiday pay is available. When on an unpaid leave, no holiday pay is available. Vacation does not accrue during a leave of absence.

    Holiday Pay While on Leave
    There is no paid holiday while on a leave of absence.

    The Collective Bargaining Agreement should be reviewed for more information

    In addition to PFL and FMLA, 1199/SSA members may be eligible for Infant Care leave. An Infant Care Leave allows eligible 1199/SSA employees to take a leave without pay for infant care purposes in addition to the sick and non-occupational disability leave, however, such leave shall not exceed ten (10) months in duration. Upon return from such leave the employee shall be returned to a job in the same or equivalent job classification.

    Infant Care leaves are available to 1199/SSA employees who have completed nine (9) months of employment. Please refer to the CBA for more information

    Vacation and Holiday Pay While on Leave
    While on a paid leave, holiday and vacation pay is available. When on an unpaid leave, no holiday or vacation pay is available.

    In addition to PFL and FMLA, 1199 Clerical and Cafeteria members may be eligible for Child Care leave. A Child Care leave allows for 1199 Clerical and Cafeteria employees to take leave without pay for child care purposes in addition to the sick and non-occupational disability leave, however, such leave shall not exceed 10 months in duration. 

    Child Care leaves are available to 1199 Clerical and Cafeteria employees. Please refer to the CBA for more information.

    When applicable, all leaves will run concurrently.

    Holiday and Vacation Pay While on Leave
    While on a paid leave, holiday pay is available. When on an unpaid leave, no holiday pay is available. Vacation does not accrue during a leave of absence.

     

    Holiday Pay While on Leave
    No holiday pay is available.

    Holiday Pay While on Leave
    No holiday pay is available.

    Once the Departmental HR contact is notified of the employee's need for a leave of absence, the Departmental HR contact should consider all applicable leave types the employee is eligible for and follow all steps below.

    Requesting a Leave of Absence

    Notification to one’s supervisor is required to request time off for all types of parental care, adoption or infant care leaves. An employee requesting this type of leave should submit a written request as far in advance as possible and must indicate an anticipated return to work date. 

    Steps to request Paid Family Leave (if eligible):

    1. The Departmental HR contact should review the PFL Process Steps document for the steps to request PFL.
    2. The Departmental HR contact should complete the PFL Information Form with the employee and submit it to leavemanagement@columbia.edu.

    Note: 1199 Clerical and Cafeteria employees should contact the Benefit Fund’s Member Services to file a PFL claim. By Phone: 646-473-9200, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST, Mon to Fri; or Online: www.1199SEIUBenefits.org

    For more information on eligibility and benefits, visit:

    Notification to one’s supervisor is required to request time off for all types of parental care, adoption or infant care leaves. An employee requesting this type of leave should submit a written request as far in advance as possible and must indicate an anticipated return to work date. 

    Steps to request Family and Medical Leave Act (if eligible):

    1. The Departmental HR contact should complete the FMLA WH-381 Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities and provide it to the employee.
       
    2. The employee should complete the FMLA WH-380F Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member's Serious Health Condition and submit documentation confirming the family relationship. The employee may provide either a simple statement or other documentation, such as the child’s birth certificate or a court document. It is the employee’s choice whether to provide a simple statement or other documentation. Documentation should be submitted to the CUHR Leave Management Office.
       
    3. Once the employee has submitted documentation, the Departmental HR contact should complete the FMLA WH-382 Designation Notice and provide it to the employee.

    In cases where both parents work in the same department at Columbia University, any leave beyond the FMLA period will require approval by the department.

    The employee requesting Parental Care, Adoption or Infant Care Leave must submit a written request to their supervisor and/or Departmental HR contact as far in advance as possible and indicate an anticipated return to work date.

    An employee is expected to return to work on the date agreed upon at the onset of the request for leave. An employee who has been on a parental care, adoption, or infant care leave will be reinstated in the same position or a comparable position. Employees who decide that they will not be returning to active employment must notify their department in writing at least four weeks prior to the scheduled return to work date.

    Note about returning to work for 1199 Clerical and Cafeteria employees: In support of family concerns, a full-time employee may return to work on a part-time scheduled basis for a period of up to four (4) weeks immediately following a leave of absence for pregnancy-disability, infant care, adoption or foster care placement of a child.

    Useful Tools and Information

    Employees may continue their benefits if on an approved leave of absence. 

    Learn more

    Any questions regarding procedures, PFL, FMLA or benefits eligibility should be addressed to CUHR Leave Management.

    PAF Codes for Processing Leave Transactions

    Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

    In addition to FMLA, other University policies and laws, if eligible, will run concurrently, including NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act and Paid Family Leave.

    FMLA does not supersede any University policy or collective bargaining agreement that provides greater family or medical leave rights than the rights established under FMLA. Conversely, FMLA provides that the rights established for employees under FMLA cannot be diminished by any policy or agreement.

    The leave granted under FMLA generally is a lesser benefit than that available under various University policies and collective bargaining agreements. Because the University meets or exceeds FMLA requirements in many respects, this policy designates many existing types of leave as FMLA leave, so that the University leaves and the FMLA leave run concurrently.