Parental Leave

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

Effective July 1, 2018, the Parental Leave benefit is no longer available.

To support employees as they balance career, childbirth, and family life, Arlington Public Schools will provide two consecutive weeks of paid leave to eligible employees due to the birth of a child, or placement of a child through adoption or foster care.

If your approved Family and Medical Leave (FML) is scheduled to begin July 1, 2016 and later and you qualify for Parental Leave, complete the Parental Leave Request Form and submit your completed form to the Benefits Department. Send your completed form to:

Michelle Brauch (Interim Leave Benefits Specialist)
Arlington Public Schools
1426 N. Quincy St., 4th Fl
Arlington, VA 22207
Direct Phone:  703-228-8627   Fax: 703-841-2138
E-Mail: michelle.brauch@apsva.us

Eligibility

Effective July 1, 2016, Arlington Public Schools provides two consecutive weeks (ten work days) of Parental Leave to eligible employees who qualify and are on Family Medical Leave (FML)** for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. Parental Leave is allowed once within a twelve (12) month period.

**An FML eligible employee is an employee who has been employed for at least 12 months (not necessarily consecutive) by APS and has worked at least 1,250 hours of service with APS during the previous 12-month period.

If an employee elects to use Parental Leave, the Parental Leave will run concurrently with FML and the Parental Leave will be paid at the employee’s current salary rate.

During Parental Leave, the employee must be the primary caregiver.

For more information about FML, go to http://apsva.us/benefits/fml.

For assistance determining your eligibility, contact the Interim Leave Benefits Specialist, Michelle Brauch, at 703-228-8627, Michelle.Brauch@apsva.us.

Leave Uses

This benefit applies to:

  • an employee for the birth of a son or daughter
  • the placement of a child with the employee for adoption
  • the foster placement of a child with the employee

Parental Leave must be taken immediately following birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child and may not be taken intermittently.***

***In the event both parents work at APS and meet the eligibility requirements, both are eligible for the Parental Leave benefit. However, only one parent may be designated as primary caregiver at a given time. Therefore, Parental Leave will be paid to the 1st caregiver until the Parental Leave is exhausted and Parental Leave will be subsequently paid to the 2nd caregiver.

For birth mother covered by the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Hybrid disability plan, Parental Leave will run concurrently with the employee’s disability benefit period, and Parental Leave will be a combination of Parental Leave and disability income, equivalent to 100% salary replacement.

Forms and Instructions

Employees wishing to take Parental Leave must complete:

Parental Leave Request Form

Family Medical Leave Request Form with required medical documentation

Return the Parental Leave Request Form and Family Medical Leave Request Form (with required medical documentation) to:

Attn: Michelle Brauch  (Interim Leave Benefits Specialist)
Human Resources Department, Arlington Public Schools
1426 N. Quincy St., 4th Fl   Arlington, VA 22207
Direct Phone:  703-228-8627   Fax: 703-841-2138
E-Mail: Michelle.Brauch@apsva.us

For a birth mother who is a Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Hybrid Plan participant and has been continuously employed with APS for at least 12-months in a benefits-eligible position, the employee must complete and file a Standard Insurance Company Disability Claim Form.

Go to www.apsva.us/benefits/disability/ to obtain Hybrid Plan disability claim form and review filing instructions.

To receive Parental Leave, you must submit your completed paperwork to Human Resources (and the Standard Insurance Company, if applicable) prior to the end of your 12-week FML period. Failure to apply for Parental Leave within the specified time frame will result in the forfeiture of the Parental Leave benefit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Parental Leave?
Parental Leave provides eligible APS employees up to 2 consecutive weeks (10 work days) of paid leave within a twelve (12) month period for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child with an employee.

When does the Parental Leave policy go into effect?
The policy is effective July 1, 2016.

If I had a newborn prior to July 1, 2016, or I adopted a child or a foster child was placed prior to July 1, 2016, can I request Parental Leave now?
No. Parental Leave is only available to employees with approved Family Medical Leave (related to the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child) that starts July 1, 2016 or later.

If I have twins, am I eligible to receive 4 weeks of Paid Parental Leave?
No. One Parental Leave is available per birth, adoption, or foster event. The number of children involved does not increase the length of Parental Leave granted for that event.

Will the use of Parental Leave impact my annual or sick leave accrual?
No. The use of Parental Leave will not impact your annual or sick leave accrual.

Can I take Parental Leave intermittently?
No. Parental Leave must be taken consecutively.

Is there a deadline to apply for Parental Leave?
To receive Parental Leave, you must submit your completed paperwork to Human Resources (and claim form to the Standard Insurance Company, if applicable) prior to the end of your 12-week FML period. Failure to apply for Parental Leave within the specified time frame will result in the forfeiture of this benefit.  See section “Forms/Instructions” for more information about the required paperwork.

I am a Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Hybrid Plan participant and I have been continuously employed with APS for at least 12-months in a benefits-eligible position. How does Parental Leave impact my disability benefits?
For birth mothers covered under the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Hybrid Disability plan, Parental Leave will be paid concurrently with disability income benefits. Under the Hybrid Disability Plan, the 1st seven calendar days are considered the Elimination Period and no disability benefits are paid. However, the employee is eligible to receive Parental Leave.

For Hybrid Plan participants eligible for both Disability Income Benefits and Parental Leave, the Parental Leave will be paid as follows:

1st week (first 5 work days) of Parental Leave – 100% Parental Leave will be paid

2nd week (subsequent 5 work days) of Parental Leave – Combination of Parental Leave and Disability Income will be paid, equivalent to 100% salary replacement

I am a 10-month or 11-month employee and the birth, adoption, or foster placement of my child occurred during a non-contract period and I’m eligible for FML. When am I eligible for Parental Leave?
Your FML will begin on the first day of your contract period and you will be eligible for Parental Leave the 1st two weeks (10 work days) of your FML.

For a VRS Hybrid Plan participant who is a birth mother, Parental Leave will run concurrently with the disability benefit period. For any days of Parental Leave concurrent to the disability benefit period, the Parental Leave will be a combination of Parental Leave and disability income, equivalent to 100% salary replacement.

Can I decide when I want to receive my paid Parental Leave?
You must exhaust your Parental Leave benefit before using any other paid leave.