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Human Resources and Organizational Management

 

Human Resources and Organizational Management

Headquarters Marine Corps

Parental Leave
The Federal Government offers numerous leave flexibilities to assist employees in meeting their work and family obligations, including paid time off for childbirth and adoption and care of the newborn or adopted child. There is no separate leave category for parental leave. Instead, employees are entitled to use paid and unpaid leave, along with workplace scheduling flexibilities, to meet their family obligations. 

Most employees are entitled to a total of up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the FMLA for specified family and medical needs, including care of a newborn or newly adopted child. An employee may choose to substitute annual leave or sick leave, where appropriate, for unpaid leave under the FMLA. It is important to note that Federal employees are entitled to 12 weeks of FMLA leave in addition to any other paid or unpaid leave approved by the supervisor. In addition, if an employee experiences a personal or family medical emergency and has exhausted all of his or her available paid leave, he or she may apply for donated annual leave under the leave transfer or program. Although the Federal Government does not offer temporary disability coverage (providing partial salary replacement) to its employees, the employees own sick leave account and/or transferred annual leave under the leave transfer program (providing full salary replacement) are available in maternity situations.
 
PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH

A new mother who is a Federal employee is entitled to use her sick leave (which she accrues at a rate of 13 days per year) for any period of incapacitation resulting from pregnancy and/or childbirth. For most new mothers, this period of eligibility to use sick leave ranges from 6 to 8 weeks, as certified by her physician. If the new mother does not have sufficient sick leave to cover her period of incapacitation, she may request advance sick leave from her agency or receive donated annual leave through the leave transfer and/or leave bank programs. If she elects to remain at home for an additional period following her recovery, she is entitled to use up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the FMLA. She may choose to substitute her annual leave (which she accrues at a rate of 13, 20, or 26 days a year, depending on length of service) for any of the FMLA leave without pay. She may also request and her agency may grant additional annual leave or leave without pay beyond the amounts guaranteed by the FMLA.

  • May I be advanced leave to cover my time off for childbirth if I don’t have enough accrued sick leave?
  • Yes. Advanced sick leave (up to 240 hours) may be granted for periods of incapacitation and recovery.
LEAVE FOR FATHERS
A new father who is a Federal employee is entitled to use his sick leave (up to a maximum of 12 weeks) to accompany his wife to medical appointments, to be with her during her hospitalization, and to care for her during her recovery period (about 6 to 8 weeks). If the new father does not have sufficient sick leave to cover his wife’s full recovery period, he may request donated annual leave through the leave transfer and/or leave bank programs. If the new father would like additional time off to care for the newborn, he may use up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the FMLA. He may choose to substitute his annual leave (which he accrues at a rate of 13, 20, or 26 days a year, depending on length of service) for any of the FMLA leave without pay. He may also request and his agency may grant additional annual leave or leave without pay beyond the amounts guaranteed by the FMLA.

ADOPTIVE PARENTS

Adoptive parents are entitled to use sick leave (without limit) for purposes related to the adoption of a child. Such purposes may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Appointments with adoption agencies, social workers, and attorneys;
  • Court proceedings;
  • Required travel;
  • Any periods of time the adoptive parents are ordered or required by an adoption agency or a court to take time off from work to care for the adopted child; and
  • Any other activities necessary to allow the adoption to proceed

New adoptive parents may be advanced up to 30 days of sick leave for these purposes. They also are entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the FMLA and may choose to substitute their annual leave for FMLA leave without pay. They may also request and the agency may grant additional annual leave or leave without pay beyond the amounts guaranteed by the FMLA.

Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
    
OPM FACT SHEET: LEAVE FOR CHILDBIRTH  
OPM FACT SHEET: LEAVE FOR ADOPTION