Paid Parental Leave

Paid Parental Leave Program

Under Executive Order 95, Providing Paid Parental Leave to Eligible State Employees, the Office of State Human Resources has established this pilot program to allow state agencies and universities to offer Paid Parental Leave (PPL) to promote physical and mental health for employee families, increase worker retention and improve worker productivity and morale.

The UNC Board of Governors approved the Paid Parental Leave program in September 2019 and directed institutions to implement no earlier than Jan. 1, 2020 and no later than April 30, 2020. 

UNC Charlotte Implementation Date: Jan. 1, 2020

University employees who meet certain requirements and have a qualifying event on or after Jan. 1, 2020, are eligible for this new Paid Parental Leave. 

The UNC System included a provision to address qualifying events occurring between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2019.

  • If eligible University employees have a qualifying event on or after Sept. 1, 2019, but before Jan. 1, 2020 (UNC Charlotte’s date of policy implementation), they may use four weeks of Paid Parental Bonding Leave for the event. It can be used no earlier than Jan. 1, 2020, and no later than 12 months from the date of the qualifying event. 

  • This leave cannot be applied retroactively to replace paid or unpaid leave that the employee may have used for the event prior to the institution implementation date of Jan. 1, 2020.

Employers have a responsibility to make employees aware of the Paid Parental Leave (PPL) program and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and to administer these benefits. Employees and supervisors also share in the responsibility to ensure compliance with University policies and state and federal regulations.  

Below is a summary of these benefits and instructions for employees and supervisors. The applicable State and University rules and regulations apply, in addition to any federal requirements. Refer to the additional resources referenced below for more detail. 

Paid Parental Leave Summary

Benefit Overview

  • Eligible University employees who have given birth are provided eight weeks of Paid Parental Leave:

    • Four weeks for recuperation during the disability period associated with the birth (Recuperation Leave). 

    • Four weeks of bonding to be used within the first twelve months of the birth and must be used as a continuous four-week period of leave (Bonding Leave).

  • Eligible University employees who care for or bond with a newborn child or newly adopted, fostered, or otherwise legally placed child shall be provided four weeks of Paid Parental Leave (Bonding Leave).

    • This leave must be used within the first twelve months of the birth or placement of the child and should be coordinated with the employee’s management to minimize impact to the work unit, if feasible, and to avoid any public safety concern. This leave must be used as a continuous four-week period of leave.

  • Each week of Paid Parental Leave will be compensated at 100% of the employee’s regular, straight-time weekly pay. 

Covered Employees 

  • An employee’s eligibility for Paid Parental Leave is based on the employee’s months of service and hours of work as of the date of the qualifying event. An employee who becomes a parent via childbirth, adoption, foster care or another legal placement is eligible if: 

    • The employee is full-time or part-time (half-time or more) in a permanent, probationary or time-limited (benefits-eligible) position;

      • Note: Temporary and part-time (less than half-time) employees are not eligible to participate in this program. 

    • The employee has been continuously employed by the State of North Carolina for the immediate twelve (12) preceding months

      • Note: Temporary employment may count toward these 12 months so long as the employee is in a permanent, probationary or time-limited (benefits-eligible) position at the time of the qualifying event.

    • The employee has been in pay status for at least 1,040 hours in the previous twelve-month period.

  • Eligibility for PPL and FMLA is determined by the UNC Charlotte Benefits Office after reviewing forms, certification of eligibility and usage the preceding 12 months prior to the qualifying life event.

Leave usage:

  • Birth to a child:

    • Eligible parents giving birth to a child can use four consecutive weeks of PPL (Recuperation Leave) following the eligible qualifying life event.

    • They can use sick or other eligible leave available, including any Voluntary Shared Leave (VSL) for the remainder of the disability period.

    • The four consecutive weeks of eligible PPL for bonding (Bonding Leave) can be used at any time within 12 months of the eligible qualifying life event, but cannot be used intermittently.

    • PPL must run concurrently with available FMLA.

    • Employees meeting all other criteria who have exhausted their FMLA the prior 12 months of the qualifying life event are still eligible for PPL.

  • Non-birth parents:

    • Employees meeting other PPL eligibility may use accrued sick leave or other eligible leave available, including any VSL, to care for their spouse during the period of disability.

    • They can use accrued sick leave or other eligible leave available, including any VSL, for the child if the child has a disability or a serious medical condition that requires a parent’s care.

    • Eligible state employees can use four consecutive weeks of eligible PPL for bonding at any time within 12 months of the eligible qualifying life event, but cannot be used intermittently.

    • PPL must run concurrently with available FMLA.

    • Employees meeting all other criteria who have exhausted their FMLA the prior 12 months of the qualifying life event will still be eligible for PPL.

FMLA Summary

  • FMLA and shared leave are available to employees for authorized medical, compelling family and certain military reasons that force an employee to be absent for an extended period of time (more than three days) and for frequent intermittent absences. 

  • FMLA provides employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid job protection, based on eligibility.

  • Available FMLA leave is determined by the Benefits Office after reviewing FMLA forms and leave taken by the employee within the prior 12 months.

  • Employees may be able to use their eligible leave (including paid parental leave, sick, vacation, bonus and voluntary shared leave) concurrently while approved for FMLA to remain in a paid status.

Employee Actions

  • Leave-earning staff and 12-month faculty, full-time permanent, part-time (half-time or more) or time-limited employees

    • Review the paid PPL guidelines and FAQs 

    • Complete the Paid Parental Leave Request Form on the Benefits Form page.

    • Review the Family and Medical Leave Policy and complete the Extended Leave of Absence Resource Guide and forms (12-month FMLA) located on the Benefits Form page.

    • Once eligibility for PPL and FMLA is determined by the Benefits Office, communication and individual consultation will be provided to employees. Follow instructions from the Benefits Office for leave entries in the timekeeping and leave system (Kronos).

  • 9-month faculty, full-time permanent, part-time (half-time or more) employees:

  • Temporary employees (non-students):

    • PPL does not apply.

    • Review the Family and Medical Leave Policy and complete the Extended Leave of Absence Resource Guide and forms (12-month FMLA) located on the Benefits Form page.

    • Follow instructions from the Benefits Office for leave entries in the time keeping and leave system (Kronos).

Supervisor Actions

  • Refer employees requesting PPL and FMLA to the Paid Parental Leave web page for instruction.

  • Follow instructions from the Benefits Office to verify and correct leave entries in the time keeping and leave system (Kronos) every pay period. 

  • Consult with Benefits Office regarding questions and usage of PPL and/or FMLA.

Resources

Contact the Benefits Office at 704-687-8134 or benefits@uncc.edu for specific questions.