The University of Alabama, Division of Finance and Operations

Pregnancy Recovery Leave Policy

Unit:  Human Resources
Contact: Susan Norton
Title:  Senior Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer
Effective Date: 9/9/2019
Revision Date: 11/12/2018


 
 

Purpose

The University of Alabama (UA) recognizes that employees may need to be absent from work for recovery from their childbirth, false pregnancy, miscarriage, or other childbirth-related medical event.  Therefore, it is UA’s policy to provide up to eight weeks of unpaid pregnancy recovery leave (PRL) in a 12-month period to employees as described herein. 

Policy

Eligibility

All regular full-time and part-time staff employees who do not qualify for a medical leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave (FML) Policy or who have exhausted their twelve weeks of available FML leave are eligible for up to eight continuous weeks of PRL to recover from a Pregnancy-related Event.  Only employees who require leave from work for a medical reason related to recovery from their own Pregnancy-related Event are eligible for PRL.  PRL is not available for purposes of bonding. 

Regardless of time in service, all leaves of absence taken by faculty are covered by the Faculty Handbook.  Additional information regarding pregnancy-related leave for faculty may be obtained from the Office for Academic Affairs.   

All graduate students with assistantships who request reasonable accommodations related to a pregnancy, including pregnancy-related leave, should request accommodations though UA’s Title IX Office.  Additional information regarding accommodations for pregnant students can be found in the Pregnancy FAQs.

Use of PRL, Pay and Benefits, and Reinstatement 

Use of PRL will be subject to the following general requirements:

  1. Generally, eligible employees are entitled to take up to eight weeks of PRL in a single 12-month period. For purposes of this Policy, UA will calculate the amount of PRL available to an eligible employee using a “rolling” 12-month period. 
  2. Employees may elect to use any available sick, annual, or compensatory time in order to be paid while on approved PRL. If an employee elects to use such leave, the accrued paid time will be applied consecutively at the onset of the PRL.  Once the employee goes into an unpaid status, the employee will remain in such status until the end of the approved PRL and their return to work. If the employee does not have any such leave available or elects not to use it, the PRL will be unpaid.  
  3. While an employee is on PRL, UA will maintain employee benefits, including medical insurance, if the employee continues to be actively employed and in a paid status. However, employees in an unpaid status will be offered COBRA continuation coverage in accordance with federal guidelines.
  4. Upon return from PRL, an employee will generally be reinstated to the same position held when PRL began, or to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment. If an employee takes PRL during their introductory period, the department reserves the right to extend the introductory period.  Since PRL is based on a medical need to recover from a Pregnancy-related Event, the employee must submit certification from a health care provider that the employee is able to return to work with or without an accommodation.  Unless an employee has been approved for additional leave or an exception is necessitated under the ADA, an employee who fails to return to work after the completion of the PRL, with or without an accommodation, will be treated as having voluntarily resigned. 

Requesting PRL

  1. An employee requesting PRL must apply for the leave by providing a completed Pregnancy Recovery Leave Request Form, with supporting medical documentation, to the HR ADA Coordinator.
  2. The employee must apply for PRL in advance and must give their supervisor an advanced written notice of at least 30 days to the extent practical. If the need for PRL is unforeseen, the employee must provide such notice as is practical.  In such a case, the employee must follow their supervisor’s usual and customary notice call-in procedures for reporting their absence, unless unusual circumstances exist. 
  3. Failure to follow these procedures in requesting and receiving approval for PRL will result in the employee being in an unapproved leave status and, therefore, subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Pregnancy-related Disabilities

An employee suffering from a pregnancy-related disability requiring reasonable accommodations may request such accommodations by following UA’s Employee Reasonable Accommodations Policy and Employee Procedures for Requesting Reasonable Accommodations

Discrimination and Retaliation Prohibited

UA prohibits and will not tolerate discrimination or retaliation against any employee or applicant because of that person’s pregnancy or PRL, or because that person has otherwise exercised their rights pursuant to Title IX, Title VII, FMLA, ADA, PDA, or this Policy.  Specifically, no one will be denied employment, reemployment, promotion or any other benefit of employment or be subjected to any adverse employment action based on that person’s pregnancy or PRL.  In addition, no one will be disciplined, intimidated or otherwise retaliated against because that person exercised rights under this Policy or applicable law. Employees who believe that they have been the subject of discrimination or retaliation due to their pregnancy or their PRL should report their concerns to the following University officials:

2418 Capital Hall

(205) 348-5496

TitleIX@ua.edu

If an employee wishes to make a complaint about the manner in which an accommodation request was handled, the complaint should be directed to the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs.

Equal Opportunity Programs/University Compliance

2418 Capital Hall

(205) 348-5855

Scope

All regular full-time and part-time staff employees who do not qualify for a medical leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave (FML) Policy or who have exhausted their twelve weeks of available FML leave are eligible for up to eight continuous weeks of PRL to recover from a Pregnancy-related Event.  Only employees who require leave from work for a medical reason related to recovery from their own Pregnancy-related Event are eligible for PRL.  PRL is not available for purposes of bonding.

 
 

Office of the Vice President of Finance and Operations

Approved by Cheryl Mowdy, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Operations, 11/12/2018