Leave & Time Off | Webster University

Leave & Time Off


Bereavement Leave

In the event of the death of a regular part-time or full-time staff member’s family, the employee is allowed a leave of absence, with pay, immediately following the death as follows:

  • 5 days for spouse/domestic partner, child, step-child, child of domestic partner, parent, step-parent, brother, step-brother, sister, step-sister, grandchild, step-grandchild, grandchild of domestic partner, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law;
  • 3 days for mother-in-law, father-in-law, parent of domestic partner, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, spouse of step-sibling, brother/sister of domestic partner, spouse of brother/sister of domestic partner, grandparent, grandparent of spouse or domestic partner, aunts or uncles and counterpart by marriage/domestic partnership, or legal guardian of the employee.

Paid bereavement leave is based upon an employee’s standard scheduled hours.


Jury Duty

The University views jury duty as a civic responsibility. Regular pay based on an employee’s standard schedule will be given for time while serving on jury duty. A certificate of service is routinely provided by the court and must be submitted to the employee’s supervisor as proof of duty.


Time Off For Personal Matters

University policy permits an employee time off, if necessary, to attend to personal matters. Request for time off for this purpose shall be made to an employee's supervisor. For hourly (non-exempt) employees, such excused time may be made up, with the approval of the supervisor, provided such hours are worked in the same work week in which the employee takes time off.    

Inability to make up the time off in the same week will result in applying the personal time off against available vacation or personal time.  Salaried (exempt) employees are only expected to apply this if absent in full-day increments.  If vacation or personal time is not available, no payment will be made for such time off.  See respective paid time off policies and the “Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and Overtime Pay” policy for more direction.


Faculty Parental Leave Policy

Parental leave for designated full-time faculty

A.     Availability of Parental Leave
When a full-time faculty member who has the title of assistant professor, associate professor, professor, lecturer, or instructor, becomes the parent of a child, either by childbirth, adoption, or foster-child placement, they are eligible, upon written request to their Department Chair and Dean, to be granted a paid parental leave of one semester as described in this Policy. The Dean will forward this request to Human Resources.  Faculty with a “visiting” appointment are not eligible for leave under this policy.

The request for Parental Leave should be made as soon as reasonably possible after the need for a leave becomes known, in order to minimize the administrative burden of ensuring adequate course coverage. If a faculty member and his or her spouse or domestic partner would otherwise both be eligible for parental leave under this Policy, either one, but not both, may take the leave provided in this Policy.

 B.     Agreement
Any agreement for a parental leave under this Policy shall be in writing. The agreement shall include a certification by the faculty member that the purpose of the leave will be to serve as caregiver for that child during the period of leave or during any subsequent semester that begins no later than six months after the birth, adoption, or placement. The agreement should also describe the relationship between the parental leave provided under the Policy and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as set for in section G.

 C.     Salary, Benefits and Responsibilities During Leave
A faculty member who takes parental leave under this Policy shall receive the same salary and benefits, including any salary increases, that he or she would have received that semester if not on leave, and shall be relieved of his or her normal duties and responsibilities during the period of leave as follows:

  1. Teaching and Advising: The faculty member shall be relieved of the obligation to teach and advise during the semester in which the leave is taken.
  2. Professional Activities: The faculty member shall be relieved of research and scholarship expectations for the semester in which the leave is taken.
  3. Service to the University and Governance: The faculty member shall be relieved of all faculty governance and service responsibilities, including committee work, for the semester in which the leave is taken.

 D.     Timing of the Parental Leave
At the option of the faculty member, the parental leave provided by this Policy may be taken during the semester in which the child is born, placed for adoption, placed for foster care, or during any subsequent semester that begins no later than six months after the birth, adoption, or placement. Leave taken under this policy may be taken only once in a rolling 12-month period. In special circumstances, additional unpaid leave with continuing benefits may be taken, subject to the approval of Academic Affairs. If the leave occurs at approximately the same time as a previously arranged FDL or sabbatical leave, that sabbatical or FDL will be in addition to the parental leave, and not a substitute for it.

E.      Effect on Probationary Period (Where Applicable)

  1. If the faculty member is non-status but status-track, the time that he or she spends on parental leave under this Policy may not count toward the probationary period, at the faculty member’s discretion.
  2. The timing of any intermediate or major reviews during the probationary period may be adjusted in a manner consistent with the extension of the probationary period as provided in this section, at the faculty member’s discretion. It is expected that a decision by the faculty member to stop the tenure clock during this leave will not be viewed negatively, and that there will be no retaliatory or punitive measures resulting from this choice.

 F.      Medical Incapacitation
Any parental leave taken under this Policy shall be in addition to any leave granted because of medical incapacitation. In particular, if a pregnancy results in medical incapacitation to complete one’s job responsibilities, this short-term or long-term disability period shall be treated separately from the intended leave granted via this policy for purposes of care giving. Also, special circumstances such as premature birth of a child, birth of a child with a medical disability or special needs, and other such unforeseen circumstances shall be handled with other medical and/or disability leave.

 G.     FMLA
The benefits afforded faculty under this Policy are intended to be consistent and not in conflict with rights afforded under the FMLA. Any leave taken under this Policy, to the extent that it also qualifies for FMLA leave, is intended to count as FMLA leave, and the written agreement should clearly state that intention.

 H.     Replacement of Faculty During Leave
While each university department has unique circumstances, it is expected that, where possible, coverage for faculty on leave will be handled through the use of adjunct faculty, rather than hiring full-time temporary replacement positions with benefits.

 Revised and approved November 2, 2017 for leaves beginning December 1, 2017 and thereafter.
 Originally approved June 1, 2007.


Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Leaves of Absence

In compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993, the University grants all eligible employees 12 unpaid weeks of leave during any rolling 12-month period due to the birth, adoption or placement of his/her child, the serious health condition of a spouse, son, daughter or parent of the employee or a serious health condition of the employee. An employee is eligible if they have worked for at least twelve months and 1,250 hours within a rolling 12 month period.

During the 12 weeks of FMLA, the University will continue payment of benefits for the employee. The leave may be extended to a maximum of six months for good and sufficient reason. The University will require the employee to use accrued sick, personal and vacation time according to their standard schedule for the birth, adoption or placement of a child as part of the 12 weeks. The employee will be required to use accrued sick, personal and vacation time according to their standard schedule for a serious health condition of the employee or of a family member. Employees must use all paid leave before going on an unpaid leave.

Application for a leave must be made in writing to an employee's supervisor and the appropriate forms are available on the Human Resources website. All leaves of absence will be made for a designated period of time as supported by a doctor’s certification.  FMLA job-protected leave will not exceed 12 weeks in a rolling 12 month period. The maximum leave of absence will be six months. If a leave of absence is granted for medical reasons, a physician's statement as to the fitness of the employee for performance of his or her duties may be requested prior to his or her return to duty. All pay and employee benefits cease during any leave of absence except during an approved medical leave; however, employees may make special arrangements to continue the various insurance and retirement programs in which they are enrolled during the period of the leave. The cost of these programs must be borne by the employee. An employee on leave must stay in regular communication with his/her supervisor during any leave regarding the status of the leave and the expected return date from the leave. If a medical leave is expected to exceed 90 days, full-time employees are required to submit a claim for Long Term Disability benefits.  Once approved, these benefits will replace the use of accrued benefit hours.

Vacation credit is not earned during a non-paid leave of absence, though an employee does not lose seniority for purpose of computing vacation time upon his or her return. If an employee is granted a leave of absence and during the designated period of the leave elects not to return to work: 1) the University is no longer obligated to this leave policy, 2) any future application for employment will be considered as any other new application, 3) the University has no obligation to rehire the employee at previous status and/or rate of pay, 4) the employee must comply with FMLA guidelines regarding repayment of benefit premiums.



Staff and Administrator Parental Leave

This policy is effective January 1, 2018 for all Parental Leaves approved to begin on or after that date.

The Staff and Administrator Parental Leave policy is designed to provide eligible staff members and administrators with up to six weeks of paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child or placement of a foster child.

This policy applies to regular, full-time staff members, administrators, and core faculty at US campus locations, budgeted and scheduled to work a minimum of 30 hours per week, who have completed at least two years of full-time equivalent service with the University on the date the leave begins. The beginning date of the leave is the date of birth or placement/adoption, or, in the case of the birth parent, the date the treating physician certifies the employee is medically unable to work.

Employees who meet the eligibility requirements, upon requesting through the appropriate process, may receive a paid parental leave upon the birth, placement, or adoption of a child. This does not include adoption of a spouse’s or domestic partner’s existing chil(dren). This paid Parental Leave is available to the primary or secondary parent or domestic partner as attested by a domestic partner affidavit on file with the Office of Human Resources. If both parents are employed by Webster University and eligible for paid Parental Leave under this Policy, then they are eligible for a combined amount of six (6) weeks of paid Parental Leave.

     A. Duration
The duration of leave designated as Parental Leave will not exceed an equivalent of 6 weeks, based on an employee’s standard schedule, in a six-month period starting from the date the leave begins. The initial five weeks of the leave must be taken consecutively from the date the leave begins. The remaining one week may be taken intermittently, in full day increments, but must be used prior to the end of six months from the date the leave begins. Parental Leave is only available one time in a rolling 12-month period based on the ending date of the most recent leave.

     B. Coordination with FMLA/Short Term Disability/Paid Benefit Hours
Paid Parental Leave will run concurrent with and be applied toward an employee’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitlement of 12 weeks within a rolling 12-month period if the event qualifies for FMLA. If a birth parent is covered by Short Term Disability (STD), that employee is required to file for STD benefits at the beginning of the leave and the STD benefits will also run concurrent with the Parental Leave. If paid Parental Leave is exhausted, other than the one week option for intermittent Parental Leave, employees are required to use accrued benefit hours (sick, personal and vacation time – in that order) to continue pay through the remainder of the FMLA period prior to taking any unpaid time.

     C. Continued Eligibility for Benefits
Employees on paid Parental Leave retain benefits. If this also qualifies as FMLA leave and extends into an unpaid status, the employee must make arrangements to pay for their portion of benefits during any portion of leave that is unpaid.

     D. Employee Status After Leave
An employee who chooses not to return to work at the University for a period of at least 30 calendar days following the leave is required to reimburse the University for the amount paid by the University for the paid Parental Leave and the University’s portion of medical insurance costs during the leave. The exception to this is when the employee is not returning due to a documented serious medical condition of the employee or the child.

In all situations, employees must request approval for paid Parental Leave. Whenever possible, employees requesting Parental Leave under this Policy must notify their supervisor or department head at least three months prior to the expected beginning of the leave. Otherwise, notification should take place as soon as it is known the leave will be requested.

All paid Parental Leaves must be requested and applied for through an employee’s supervisor/department head and the Office of Human Resources concurrent with the application and supporting documentation for FMLA. Necessary application forms and certifications are available on the Human Resources website under the Forms section. Questions may be directed to humanresources@webster.edu.

Available time for paid Parental Leave will be maintained in the University’s Automated Time and Attendance System. All time off that is considered paid Parental Leave will be coded and tracked as such in this system. Employees are responsible to check this system each pay period to ensure that time is recorded correctly and to immediately notify their supervisor of any discrepancies. Unused Parental Leave is not paid out at termination.

The University does not tolerate retaliation against employees who apply for and take leave under this Policy. Retaliation itself is a serious violation of this Policy and should be reported immediately to the Office of Human Resources. Any person who engages in retaliatory conduct towards any employee who takes leave under this policy or cooperates in an investigation of retaliation will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.



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