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What you need to know about the new parental leave policy

University of Colorado 12-month faculty and university staff may take 160 hours of paid parental leave as part of a new administrative policy effective July 1.

These employees may take four consecutive weeks of paid leave within one year of the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child. Campus policies may allow exceptions for flexible scheduling and the child’s birth dates; these are under review and will be communicated once finalized.

(As the policy allows each campus to provide additional leave beyond what is outlined, the CU Boulder campus is extending the amount of paid leave and building in greater time flexibility to access the benefit. Read details here.)

Parental leave polices have not changed for classified staff or nine-month Faculty. Classified staff are not eligible under current Colorado state rules, but CU administrators are working with the state to secure approval to add classified employees.

“Supporting our employees and preparing the university for the needs of the current and future workforce is a priority,” said Felicity O’Herron, chief human resources officer and associate vice president of Employee Services. “Paid Parental Leave is something our employees identified as a benefit needed to support themselves as they grow their families. The work and collaboration that went into this policy change shows CU’s commitment to our people.”

The policy change was urged by CU’s Staff Council and Faculty Council. A Staff Council committee researched, drafted and submitted to CU administration a white paper that advocated for a leave policy and included information about similar policies at peer institutions and other entities.

The current parental leave policy was reviewed and revised by CU administrators from all campuses, then approved by President Bruce Benson.

Paid parental leave basics

University staff and 12-month faculty may take six consecutive months of unpaid leave, receiving pay using a combination of paid parental leave, vacation, sick leave and – in the case of birth parents only – short-term disability.

These employees must have worked for 12 consecutive months in a 50 percent or greater appointment prior to the child’s arrival to qualify for paid parental leave.

Paid parental leave will be based on an employee’s base salary and has no cash value if the employee is terminated or leaves the university. It is prorated for percent of time appointments; for example, an employee who works 32 hours would receive 128 hours of leave.

This parental leave must be taken as part of the Family Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA) guaranteed 12 weeks of leave.

Who to contact

Campus Human Resources offices will administer all aspects of the policy, and should be contacted with questions.

Full details on the policy may be found on the Office of Policy and Efficiency’s website. Click “Draft PDF” to see the revised policy.

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