Parental Leave

Mount Holyoke College instituted this Staff Parental Leave Policy on July 1, 1997.


Employees whose regular work schedule is at least 20 hours per week and who work 9 months or more per year are eligible for paid parental leave benefits after completion of one year of service.


An employee who takes primary responsibility for the care of a newborn child or newly-adopted child is eligible for six weeks paid parental leave with normal pay and benefits during the period immediately following the birth or adoption.  Any holidays that fall within this six week period will be considered as part of the paid parental leave and will not be carried forward to extend the paid period. A primary care giver shall be that person who takes primary responsibility for the care of an infant or small child. In order to exercise the primary care giver benefit, an employee must complete an affidavit stating he or she is the primary person responsible for the care of the child. This policy depends on, and assumes, the good faith of its participants. Leave benefits will be paid only for periods in which the employee would otherwise have worked.

After the six week paid leave, the primary care giver may use any accrued vacation time, sick time and/or floating holidays to continue a paid leave up to a maximum of 12 weeks leave. If there is no accrued time, the employee may continue an unpaid leave to a maximum of 12 weeks.

College contributions to health, life, dental and long term disability insurance in which the employee is enrolled will continue for 12 weeks to the extent provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act. In addition, retirement plan contributions will continue during any period of paid leave.

The maximum paid and unpaid parental leave is 12 weeks (except in the case of multiple births). Primary care givers who are unable to work because of a disability which was caused by or contributed to by their pregnancy may request an extension. Any extension is subject to a one year limitation; however, the College reserves the right in any particular case to extend this privilege beyond one year without establishing a precedent.

If an employee fails to return to work, repayment of salary and benefit costs for all weeks must be made to the College.  Any paid leave banks will be applied to the time used and if needed, reimbursement will be pro-rated proportionally.

Employees with less than one year of service will be granted leave in accordance with state and federal regulations.