Parental Leave

Texas A&M University employees (faculty, budgeted, student, wage) on maternity or paternity leave are, if eligible, entitled to benefits under the provisions of The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employees who have not worked for the State of Texas for at least 12 months or who have worked fewer than 1,250 hours during the 12-month period preceding the needed leave qualify for maternal/paternal leave under the state's Parental Leave Act (PLA). Maternal/paternal leave under the FMLA and PLA includes the natural birth of a child and the placement of a child for adoption or state-certified foster care.

Family and Medical Leave Act

  • To qualify, employees must
    • physically work at least 1,250 hours within the last 12 months of the need for FMLA leave; and
    • have at least 12 months of total state service within the past seven years of employment.
  • FMLA leave is unpaid; employees will be paid using eligible vacation leave, sick leave, etc.
  • FMLA leave, for maternal/paternal leave purposes, applies to the natural birth of a child, or to the formal adoption or foster care placement of a child younger than 18 years of age; adoption or foster care placement may apply to a person over 18 years of age who is incapable of self-care.
  • Eligible employees will be granted up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave per fiscal year; entitlement to maternal/paternal leave under FMLA leave expires 12 months after the birth or formal adoption/foster care placement in the home.
  • Intermittent FMLA leave for the birth of a child that is not medically necessary as per a physician's statement is subject to the approval of the employee's supervisor.
  • Learn more about FMLA here.

Parental Leave Act

  • An employee is entitled to PLA benefits if s/he:
    • has worked for the State of Texas for fewer than 12 months; or
    • has worked fewer than 1,250 hours during the 12-month period preceding the needed leave.
  • Leave under the PLA:
    • applies to the natural birth of a child, adoption, or foster care placement of a child under three years of age;
    • intermittent PLA leave that is not medically necessary as per a physician's statement is subject to the approval of the employee's supervisor; and
    • will expire 12 weeks after the date of birth, or 12 weeks after the first day the adoptive or foster child is formally placed in the employee's home.

Paid and Unpaid FMLA/PLA Leave

Before and After Childbirth

  • Mothers
    • Appropriate paid leave (sick, vacation, comp time, etc.) will be used for doctor appointments, prenatal visits, and medical recovery after childbirth.
    • Leave without pay will be applied where appropriate.
  • Fathers
    • Appropriate paid leave (sick, vacation, comp time, etc.) will be used for doctor's appointments and prenatal visits.
    • Sick leave for absences in excess of three continuous working days must be supported by appropriate documentation.
    • Leave without pay will be applied where appropriate.

Other Information

  • Sick Leave Pool hours may be available in those cases where severe illness or prolonged complications due to pregnancy or childbirth arise with respect to either the mother or the child.
  • An employee who adopts a child younger than three years of age may use the amount of available sick leave following the adoption that would normally be granted for recovery from pregnancy and childbirth (up to six weeks).

Parental Leave Act Packet of information (for employees not eligible for FMLA maternal/paternal leave)

Employees who are not eligible for FMLA leave and are requesting time off for the birth of a child or for the placement of a foster/adoptive child in the home are eligible for leave under the state's Parental Leave Act, provided requisite documentation is presented and proper procedures are followed.

  • Employees: You are encouraged to contact your department's personnel or business services area if you have questions about parental leave.
  • Liaisons: Please provide this packet of information below for employees who are not eligible for FMLA leave and are requesting/needing time off for the birth/adoption/foster care placement of a child:
  1. Cover Letter to Employee
  2. Certification Form

Additional Information

Other laws or legislation may apply to certain employees using maternal or paternal leave. Use of paid and unpaid leave is subject to the rules and regulations of Texas A&M University. Other laws may apply to certain employees taking maternity or paternity leave; please contact Human Resources if additional guidance is needed regarding the application or use of maternal or paternal leave benefits.

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