Skip Sub Menu

Paid Parental Leave Policy

Policy Title: Paid Parental Leave Policy

Summary: Parental leave, a type of family leave, may be taken to care for a newborn child, or placement of a child under 18 for purposes of adoption or foster care.

Policy Category: Human Resources
Policy Owner: Human Resources
Policy Status: Approved.
Effective Date: July 1, 2018

Policy Document

Policy Summary

Parental leave, a type of family leave, is available to qualifying parents to care for a newborn child or placement of a child under 18 for purposes of adoption or foster care.  


Drake University recognizes the importance of supporting new parents by providing paid time off for the purpose of bonding with a new child. While other Drake University leave policies provide paid time off options for the birth parent for a period of medical recovery following the birth of a child, this policy supplements those benefits and extends paid time off benefits to all qualifying parents, to include adoptive and foster parents.      


The policy applies to all eligible faculty and staff. The eligible employee’s effective date for this benefit is the first of the month following the date of hire.


I.Key Policy Features

Full time employees are eligible for up to two workweeks of paid parental leave in the following situations:

  • Birth of a child
  • Adoption of a child, including placement of child for adoption
  • Placement of a child for foster care

Faculty and staff who utilize paid parental leave cannot be disadvantaged in their promotion, advancement, or compensation because they utilize this benefit.

In the event that both parents work at Drake and meet the eligibility requirements, each is separately eligible for this benefit.  While on paid parental leave, eligible employees continue to receive the same university benefits as when actively working and will continue to receive their regular rate of pay.

II.Timing and Limitations

The paid parental leave benefit can be taken any time within the 12 week period after the date of birth, adoption (and placement), or foster care placement.

Faculty eligible for benefits under the Faculty Modified Duties Policy may elect either modified duties or paid parental leave upon the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of child, depending on what work best for them in their individual circumstance.

One paid parental leave benefit is available per employee per birth, adoption, or placement event.  The number of children born or adopted does not increase the length of paid parental leave granted for that event.

Employees are eligible for parental leave during the term of their appointment.  For instance, if an employee is on a nine or ten month appointment, paid parental leave can only be taken when the employee would otherwise be working.

In order to elect paid parental leave, employees must contact the Department of Human Resources and provide any documentation as required to verify their eligibility for paid parental leave under this policy.

III. Coordination with other Leaves

Parental leave works with other paid time off benefits to extend the amount of time available for new parents.  Birth parents may also be eligible for paid time off under other University policies, such as paid sick leave or paid time for a Medical Leave Period through the Faculty Short Term Disability Policy.

If applicable, vacation and personal time also may be used by new parents to extend paid time away, consistent with the terms of those policies.

In addition to requesting paid parental leave, tenure-eligible employees may request a tenure clock delay based on the birth of adoption of a child.

Like other policies providing paid time off, paid parental leave runs concurrently with any Family and Medical Leave Act leave for which the employee is eligible.

IV.  Return to Work

Employees who elect not to return to work after parental leave shall be treated as having voluntarily terminated their employment.  If an employee (1) gives notice that he/she is not returning to work with the University, (2) fails to return to work with the University, or (3) returns to work but remains employed for fewer than 30 days after leave has ended, then that employee shall owe the University a reimbursement for his/her paid parental leave, as the employer cost of any benefits provided during the leave, such as premiums for health insurance.  No such amount shall be owed to Drake if there is a continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition for the employee or the child.


Eligible Employee – means a full-time benefit eligible employee of Drake University who can verify the birth of a child, adoption, or foster placement under this policy.

Workweek – the times normally scheduled to work during each seven day week, based on the terms of the regular appointment. 

Adoption - means legally and permanently assuming the responsibility of raising a child as one’s own.  The source of an adopted child (e.g., whether from a licensed placement agency or otherwise) is not a factor in determining eligibility.

Foster Care – means 24-hour care for children in substitution for, and away from, their parents or guardian.  Such placement is made by or with the agreement of the State as a result of (1) a voluntary agreement between the parent or guardian that the child be removed from the home, or (2) pursuant to a judicial determination of the necessity for foster care.

Placement – means the time the child is in your care. During this time, you have the right to make routine daily decisions about the child’s care.  Prior to the actual placement, the employee may be required to attend counseling sessions, appear in court, consult with his or her attorney or the doctor(s) representing the birth parent, submit to a physical examination, or travel to another country to complete an adoption.  

Modified Duties – means a reduction in workload, without a reduction in pay, equivalent to a 1/6 reduction in the faculty member’s regular teaching or clinical load for an appointment year (academic or fiscal), under the University’s Modified Duties Policy.  

Family and Medical Leave Act – allows eligible employees to take job-protected, unpaid leave for up to a total of 12 workweeks in any 12 months, because of the birth of the child to provide care and for the placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, as explained under the University’s FMLA Policy. 

Policy History

Adopted July 1, 2018


Applicable Resources: