Maternity Leave
Tuesday, January 14 2014

Printed Version

What You Need to Know about Routine Pregnancy/Maternity Leave

This brief guide is subject to change, and may not include the specific details you need in each individual situation. Your HR, Payroll and Benefits technicians at the District Office can provide more information.

From Principals—Speak to your site principal as early as possible to start making arrangements for a long-term sub in your absence.

From Human Resources

1. You will need a doctor’s note to file with Human Resources when you go off on disability related to your pregnancy. It needs to include dates the doctor says you are disabled and unable to work, and your estimated due date.

2. Leave should be officially requested 20 days before it starts.

3. When you give birth, you need to let HR know, so they can revise disability information.

4. Call Cherise at 591-7928 to request insurance forms for the newborn within 30 days of birth.

5. To return to work, you also need to turn in a doctor’s release to HR. You can get this note at your 6-week or 8-week post-delivery check-up. If there are complications that require you to stay out longer, you will need to bring HR a new doctor’s note advising of such.

If you consider extending your leave of absence beyond standard maternity leave (this would be unpaid leave, based on Family Medical Leave Act or California Family Rights Act), you need to consider several things:
• probationary teachers who take 47 or more days of maternity leave (that means you work less than 75% of the year) will continue to be probationary teachers the next year
• any teachers who take 47 or more days of maternity leave will not advance a salary step the next year
• STRS does not give you a full year of service credit if you receive any substitute differential pay while you are on a maternity leave or if you take an unpaid leave of absence. You have the option to purchase the leave time through STRS so that you can have a full year of service credit.
• FMLA/CFRA benefits (unpaid leave) are only available if you have worked for TVUSD for one year and you have to have worked 1250 hours in that year (calculated at 7 hours) and have not taken any FMLA/CFRA leave during the precious fiscal year.

The district can grant a one-year unpaid leave of absence (LOA) for child-rearing, and this may be renewed for another 12-month period, but this is determined by district needs (scheduling and replacement are considered). Yes, there is paperwork that must be filed with HR to set up any unpaid leave or voluntary disability!

There is no such thing as a paid maternity leave. Your sick/personal necessity days are used to continue your salary at this time. If you use all your sick days, there is a system called “substitute differential pay” that HR can explain to you and set up.

From (Health) Benefits--When an employee is eligible for FMLA/CFRA Leave, health insurance benefits are continued for a period of 12 work weeks. (You are still responsible for the monthly employee premium amounts—the amount you see taken out of your paycheck.) Both the Federal and the State Leave Laws indicate that--if the employee chooses not to return at the end of their FMLA/CFRA Leave--they are responsible to repay any premium amounts paid by the employer on their behalf. If you are thinking about or planning to take an LOA after the birth of your baby, it is best to advise HRD of this at the beginning. This allows Payroll and Benefits to counsel you individually regarding the financial obligations and provide you with factual information so you can make an informed decision.

From Payroll—It is important that you consider the timing of any unpaid leave you take after the birth of your child. We get the last paycheck of the current school year in June. July’s paycheck counts as next year’s salary. Teachers who take unpaid time off next year (under CFRA or FMLA) may have to pay back salary that they didn’t realize they would have to pay, because it is really from next year’s pay. It is important you talk to your payroll clerk at TVUSD to make financial plans for the time after your official maternity leave ends. After all, you want the money flow to be coming in your direction! Contact your Payroll Technician for additional information.

From Your Associations (TVEA, CTA, NEA) —Contact Lisa, TVEA’s office manager, to arrange for continued union membership during time off. Reduced dues are available for teachers on unpaid leave. Maintaining your membership means you hold onto important CTA benefits: the Death and Dismemberment Plan, Group Legal Services Program, the Well-Baby Program, Voluntary Life and Disability Insurance Plans from The Standard, Auto and Home Insurance policies you may have from California Casualty (discounted rates), and monthly publications. NEA’s benefits include life insurance, legal advising, and monthly publications. CTA and NEA consumer discounts are available when you maintain your membership. It also means that you continue to support the important organizations that advocate on your behalf—sometimes on important issues like maternity leave!