Paid Parental Leave
Beginning July 1, 2021; up to three (3) weeks of paid Parental Leave will be available to state employees as part of House Bill 146.
Qualifying life events include:
- The birth of a child.
- Placement of a minor child for adoption.
- Placement of a minor child for foster care.
Eligibility is contingent upon the employee meeting the following criteria:
- Full-time regular, part-time regular and temporary employees who have six (6) months of continuous service and have worked a minimum of 700 hours over the six months immediately preceding the requested paid parental leave date.
- Eligible leave amount: Up to a maximum of 120 hours of paid leave per qualifying event.
- The maximum of 120 hours is the same, regardless of the number of qualifying events within the year and across USG institutions.
- Leave may be used on a continuous or intermittent basis.
- Unused leave does not carry over for future use.
- Unused parental leave has no cash value upon separation from employment.
If an employee has one of the qualifying life events mentioned above they should submit a request for extended leave through OneUSG Connect Employee Self-Service.
For additional information, please contact Human Resources by calling 912-478-6947 or submitting a MyHelp ticket.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I begin requesting the use of paid parental leave law?
The state law establishing paid parental leave for eligible state employees becomes effective July 1, 2021. Employees may begin requesting leave on that date.
Is parental leave retroactive?
Parental leave cannot be granted for absences prior to July 1, 2021, but leave can be taken based on a qualifying event that occurs prior to the effective date of the state law. Leave must be taken in the 12-month period following the initial qualifying event.
Can a USG employed couple use up to the maximum of 120 hours of parental leave each?
The state’s parental leave law does not contain a spousal limitation provision. Therefore, married USG employees could be eligible for a combined total of 240 hours of parental leave. As a reminder, parental leave will run concurrently with FMLA as applicable and the FMLA spousal limitation provision of 12-week combined total FMLA leave still applies.
If an employee qualifies for both Parental Leave and FMLA leave, what is the total number of weeks that can be taken?
If an employee is eligible for paid parental leave and is also eligible for unpaid leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the paid parental leave will run concurrently with FMLA leave and does not extend the leave period of either.
For eligibility purposes, will my employment at another USG institution count toward the six (6) months 700-hour work requirement.
Yes. An employee could combine service across more than one USG institution to meet the eligibility requirement. However, the employment must be on a continuous basis.
Does paid parental leave apply toward the 1,250 hours of work necessary for eligibility for FMLA leave?
No. The Family and Medical Leave policy states “holidays and time spent on paid or unpaid leave or suspension do not count toward the 1,250.”
Is there a limitation on approving parental leave to be taken on an intermittent basis?
Parental leave, whether taken in a continuous block or on an intermittent or reduced-schedule basis, must be taken within 12 months of the initial qualifying event.
Is parental leave prorated for part-time employees?
No. The state law does not provide that leave for part-time employees must be prorated. All eligible employees may use up to the maximum of 120 hours of parental leave.
Is an eligible employee limited to a maximum allotment of 120 hours of parental leave in a 12-month period if transferring to another institution, or would the 120 hours start over each time an eligible employee transfers?
An eligible employee is limited to a maximum allotment of 120 hours of parental leave in a 12-month period even when transferring to another institution. As a result, it is the responsibility of the employer to conduct due diligence to ensure the employee has not used their 120-hour allotment prior to approving the request for leave.
Are temporary employees eligible for parental leave?
Temporary employees (including students) are non-benefits eligible. However, should a temporary employee meet the parental leave eligibility and qualifying life event criteria, they would qualify for parental leave as provided for in the HRAP on parental leave.
Does this leave count toward worked hours for overtime pay calculations?
No. Time off for Parental Leave is not counted as hours worked for the purpose of overtime pay calculations.
How does this leave event apply if taken over an institutional holiday?
Hours for holidays that occur during a week of approved Parental Leave will be charged to the holiday.
If an employee is FMLA eligible, does this mean this person could take 12 weeks in addition to 3 weeks off simultaneously?
No. Paid parental leave will be taken consecutively with the first three weeks of FMLA leave if the employee qualifies for both.
If both parents are Georgia Southern full-time employees, is it limited to one parent, or is the leave combined as with FMLA?
Each parent would be eligible for up to 3 weeks of paid parental leave if both are Georgia Southern employees.
Is parental leave job-protected if the employee does not qualify for FMLA?
No. Paid parental leave is not considered a job-protected leave.
What type of documentation is needed to confirm a qualifying life event?
Certification from a healthcare provider for leave requests related to the birth and care of a newborn child (confirmation of birth)
Appropriate supporting court documents for leave requests related to the foster care placement or adoption of a child.
Will the 6 months of continuous work prior to eligibility include work at another USG institution?
Yes. Time worked at another USG institution counts toward eligibility for this leave type.
Last updated: 9/16/2021