I will need leave for my pregnancy.
1. It is recommended that you advise your supervisor of your pregnancy as soon as you are comfortable doing so. This will allow your supervisor to secure coverage for your position and duties while you are on leave.
2. Notify your leave specialist and apply for leave [thirty days prior] to your requested leave date. Note: If you apply more than 30 days in advance, your request will not be processed because we will not be able to estimate your eligibility for certain leave types.
To apply for leave, complete the Extended Leave/FMLA/JPAL forms found here, and follow the instructions for submission.
3. Notify your leave specialist if, for some reason, the leave needs to be extended beyond the expected period.
What type of leave am I eligible for?
AACPS does not administer a fixed period of leave that is characterized as “maternity leave.” Rather, pregnant employees are entitled to use their accrued paid leave options concurrently with FMLA/JPAL leave for prenatal care, delivery, after-care, and to care for a newborn child.
In general, the “medical” portion of the maternity leave period extends 6-8 weeks from the date that the child is delivered. The “family” portion of the leave period, which is time that a parent uses to bond with and care for a newborn child.
Certain paid leave types are limited to certain phases of maternity.
Sick leave may only be used during the “medical” portion of the leave period. Six weeks of sick leave may be used for vaginal delivery; eight weeks may be used for delivery by cesarean section. If an employee is FMLA or JPAL eligible, then FMLA or JPAL leave will run concurrently with sick leave usage from the first day of the employee’s absence. This means that if you have sick leave available, your sick balance and your FMLA/JPAL balance will be used simultaneously for each day of leave.
Employees who do not have sick leave available may use FMLA or JPAL to cover this medical period, provided that they are eligible for it. FMLA and JPAL leaves are unpaid. However, an employee who does not have sick leave available may use annual or personal business leave concurrently with FMLA/JPAL in order to be paid while on leave.
Employees who are not eligible for FMLA/JPAL, and who do not have any paid leave leave available, may be entitled to a temporary disability leave of absence. A temporary disability leave of absence has significant implications for the cost of an employee’s health coverage. Please contact your assigned specialist if you feel you need a temporary disability leave of absence.
A parent may use annual leave, personal business leave, or FMLA/JPAL leave for the “family” portion of the leave period. Sick leave cannot be used during this time. FMLA does not run concurrently with paid leave types during this period, i.e., if you use annual or personal business leave during the family leave period, it will not be charged against your FMLA balance.
How much leave is available to me?
The amount of leave available to you depends on a number of factors, including your position, available paid leave balance, your eligibility for FMLA/JPAL leave, your health, and the health of your newborn child.
In general, if you have the leave available, you may take up to 12 weeks of leave in connection with the birth of your child. Your ability to take more than 12 weeks of leave is subject to approval.
What do I do about doctor's appointments while I am pregnant?
Doctor’s appointments related to pregnancy that occur before the child is delivered constitute prenatal care. You may utilize your leave as you ordinarily would for routine doctor’s appointments. This may include sick leave, annual leave, or FMLA/JPAL leave.
Note that annual leave must be pre-approved by an employee’s supervisor. In order to utilize FMLA/JPAL, you must meet certain eligibility requirements and obtain approval from the Office of Integrated Disability and Leave Management.
What if I get sick while I am pregnant, or my doctor puts me on bedrest?
If you are incapacitated due to pregnancy, you may utilize leave as you would for any disabling medical condition, i.e., sick leave, annual leave, and/or FMLA leave. If you are a member of a bargaining unit, and you have enrolled in a Sick Leave Bank, your union may entitle you to additional paid leave in accordance with the terms of your Negotiated Agreement.
If you must take an extended leave before you deliver your child, your leave balance will be affected. You will have less time available for your delivery and bonding periods. It is critical that you consult your Leave Specialist to prepare for any contingencies that might arise.
I am a 10-month employee. What if I deliver my baby during the summer?
You should still submit your paperwork 30 days before your due date. If you do not miss any duty days in connection with your pregnancy, you will not be charged any leave.
The medical recovery portion of your maternity period is 6 or 8 weeks after your delivery date, regardless of whether you deliver during the school year or in the summer. If you deliver during the summer and your medical recovery period extends into the start of the school year, you may utilize sick leave for the remainder of your medical recovery. You should then follow the guidelines above for bonding with and caring for your newborn child. Be reminded that effective July 1, 2021, if you are FMLA/JPAL eligible, FMLA/JPAL leave will run concurrently with your sick leave from the first day of absence. It is best to consult with your leave specialist to determine your leave balances and your anticipated return to work date.
AACPS does not administer a fixed period of leave that is characterized as “paternity leave.” However, consistent with the provisions of FMLA, a parent, regardless of gender, is entitled to 12 weeks of leave to care for or bond with a newborn child through the first year of the child’s life. This leave cannot be taken intermittently. However, it can be taken at any time within the first 12 months of the child's birth.
Where both parents work for AACPS, the parents are entitled to a combined 12 weeks of leave to care for and/or bond with a newborn child. The non-child bearing spouse who seeks leave for this purpose, should complete and submit this form.
If you have annual or personal business leave available, you can ask for it to be applied during your leave period.
I have third party disability insurance. Does this effect the way that I should use my leave?
No. AACPS’ administration of leave is not affected by private insurance policies.