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Are You Adding a New Child to Your Family?

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January 31, 2012, Volume 58, No. 20

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“Did You Know” is a monthly series that includes valuable tips to help you get the most out of the benefits and services offered by the Division of Human Resources.

Bringing home a new child is a special time in every parent’s life—and we’re here to support you along the way. Use the steps below to help you figure out how to take time off for the birth or adoption of your child.

Find out if you’re eligible for Family and Medical Leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows either parent to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for family or medical reasons, including the birth or adoption of a child. But you have to meet certain eligibility requirements first.

Calculate how much paid time off you’re entitled to. When you take leave, you’re required to use your own accumulated time off to start.

If you’re pregnant, you’ll use your sick leave, vacation leave and short-term disability leave (if applicable) in that order. Keep in mind that short-term disability can only be used for medical necessity. You’re typically eligible for up to eight weeks of sick or short-term disability leave in the case of a normal delivery and ten weeks for a Caesarean Section. If you exhaust your paid leave, any additional time off—up to the 12-week maximum allowed under FMLA—is unpaid.

If you’re the father or it’s an adoption, you’re entitled to three days of sick leave before using your vacation leave. Once you’ve exhausted your vacation leave, any additional FMLA time is unpaid.

Notify your supervisor. Once you’ve decided how much time off you’ll take, let your supervisor and Human Resources know at least 30 days in advance. Just visit www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/forms.aspx, scroll down to the Short-Term Disability and Family Medical Leave section, and fill out and submit the following forms:

• Family and Medical Leave/ Short-Term Disability Request Form
• Physician’s Certification Form

If you’d like more information on parental leave from Penn, visit www.hr.upenn.edu/policy/policies/631.aspx or contact Human Resources at fmla@hr.upenn.edu

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Almanac - January 31, 2012, Volume 58, No. 20