Maternity leave is absence by a pregnant employee for the birth of her child. Leave of absence for other child care needs is Family Care Leave of Absence, described on the pages following Maternity Leave.
Service. One continuous year of service is required for an individual to take a leave of absence for maternity.
Hours. In the 12 months prior to the leave, the individual must have worked at least 1250 hours.
Holding the job. The job is held for up to 12 weeks following the birth of the child. In the case of intermittent leave or leave taken through a reduced work schedule, the job may be held for the equivalent of 12 weeks of the employee’s scheduled hours, if medically necessary. The employing department may continue the absence beyond 12 weeks through a personal leave, as provided in the policy on personal leaves of absence, including the holding of the job if the department operations permit.
Pay. The new mother may use approved extended sick time following the birth of her child. In addition, the employee may use accrued vacation for income during the maternity leave following the period of disability. There may be additional paid time available depending on eligiblity through the birth and adoption parental leave (BAPL).
Benefits. An individual on a paid maternity leave willl continue to receive benefits. The University continues to pay the employer contribution during a family care leave.
Unpaid leave. An individual on an unpaid leave will be billed for benefits coverage. Commuter benefits cannot be accessed or changed when on an unpaid leave of absence. The deadline to make changes to commuter benefits is the 5th of the month prior. Please make any necessary changes prior to that deadline, as refunds will not be given under any circumstances. For additional question on the commuter benefits, visit http://www.northwestern.edu/hr/benefits/pretax-transit/index.html.
Application. The staff member must contact both the Benefits Division and The Hartford 30 days prior to the leave. Instructional faculty must contact The Hartford 60 days prior to the start of the leave as well as their Dean's office for academic planning. You can reach The Hartford at 1-888-541-7283. Click here to view the step by step process for applying for a leave.
Return to work. At the expiration of an FMLA leave, staff members and instructional faculty members return to the same or an equivalent position as was held when the leave began.
Extension. If the leave of absence extends longer than the approved period, the staff member or instructional faculty member must request an extension from The Hartford pror to the expiration of the FMLA leave. If the staff member or instructional faculty member does not return from the leave of absence and does not request an extension, their employment will be subject to termination.