Penn State - Human Resources
GUIDELINE'S INITIAL DATE: March 16, 1971
THIS VERSION EFFECTIVE: January 24, 1985
To explain a female employee's rights under equal employment opportunity regulations for charging absences to sick leave accumulation, or for a leave of absence without pay because of pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth, and recovery therefrom. (See also HR16.)
Disabilities caused or contributed to by pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, childbirth, and recovery therefrom, are, for all job-related purposes, temporary disabilities. Written and unwritten employment policies and practices involving matters such as the commencement and duration of leave, the availability of extensions, the accrual of seniority and other benefits and privileges, and payment under any sick leave plan, shall be applied to disability due to pregnancy or childbirth on the same terms and conditions as they are applied to other temporary disabilities.
Short-term infrequent absences for illness resulting from pregnancy are charged to accumulated sick leave.
When it is determined that the employee cannot continue actively at work prior to childbirth, the employee shall charge such absence to accumulated sick leave. (If accumulated sick leave is expended, the employee shall be placed on leave of absence without pay, with the employee's option to use or not use all or part of accumulated vacation, personal holiday, or compensatory time off prior to the leave commencing.) The length of leave of absence without pay is subject to the limitations outlined in policies covering leave of absence related to illness or injury.
Normally, prolonged absence should begin no earlier than the eighth month of pregnancy. This is no mandate, however, that an employee must be relieved from active employment during the eight month. If the employee is healthy and able to do her work, she should continue to work beyond that time. If, on the other hand, in the judgment of the supervisor the employee is not effectively able to continue to work, prolonged absence may commence earlier at the request of the employee, upon presentation of an acceptable written statement from the employee's attending physician stating that earlier absence is medically necessary. Such requests may be subject to review before approval by the University.
At the time the employee commences prolonged absence from work prior to childbirth, the supervisor establishes a tentative date of return with the employee. Normally, the date of return should be no more than six weeks following the birth of the child, unless there are medical complications related to the childbirth which merit consideration for an extension of the absence. At the discretion of the supervisor, an employee requesting an extension may be required to submit a written statement from her attending physician indicating the medical necessity for the extension. Such requests may be subject to review before approval by the University. If the employee does not return within the time established, or any extension thereof, her employment shall be terminated.
If the employee desires to return to work before the agreed upon date of return, she should contact her supervisor to determine if an earlier return is feasible.
(Retitled "Human Resources")