Enhanced Family Medical Leave

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce a substantial benefit enhancement for Seattle University staff who take extended time away for family or medical need. Benefits-eligible staff may now be paid 100 percent of regular pay during a family or medical leave of absence. Effective immediately, this means up to 12 weeks of pay regardless of how many days of sick leave or vacation a staff member may have accrued to cover a longer-term absence.

STAFF INVOLVEMENT

The enhanced benefit came about because of the concerns and hopes raised by members of our campus community. There was both a need to address a disparity in benefits coverage, especially for new parents, and an opportunity to better align our policy with our Jesuit value of caring for the whole person. To gain a deeper understanding of the lived experience of staff and seek their guidance on how to proceed, Human Resources held open focus groups and convened an advisory group of concerned staff. The process resulted in a way forward that includes the enhanced paid benefit, as well as new processes and better planning resources to assist those preparing for a family medical leave. This collaborative approach is a tremendous example of a diverse group coming together to share personal experiences and develop responsive recommendations.

NEW PLAN COVERAGE

The comprehensive enhancement was unanimously approved by the Cabinet and Board of Trustees. It provides broad coverage for those in need, including:

  • Moms who need to take paid time off to care for themselves and their newborn; 
  • Non-birth moms and dads to allow them to take paid time off to bond with a new child who joins the family through natural birth, adoption or foster care,
  • Your own serious health condition or to be on hand to care for a recuperating spouse, partner, child or parent.

In short, up to 12 weeks of paid leave will be available in a rolling 12-month period for any absence that qualifies as a family medical leave.

SICK PAY BENEFIT MODIFICATIONS

Additionally, the sick time plan for benefits-eligible staff will be modified to better integrate it with the new family medical leave pay benefit. The modified sick pay benefit helps manage the occasional day out of the office.  Starting July 1, fulltime staff will receive an upfront award of 12 paid sick days. The number of sick days will be prorated for part-time, benefits eligible staff.  Anyone hired after July 1 will receive a prorated number of sick days at hire.

The modified sick pay benefit will include a maximum carryover of 72 hours each year. However, staff will be able to carry forward their June 30, 2018 accrued days into the modified sick plan on July 1. We will continue to deduct sick days when someone is on an approved family medical leave and restore up to 12 sick days upon return from leave.

UPCOMING INFORMATION SESSIONS

Family medical leave is a complex area with many contributing parts and we know you may have questions. Please join us for one of the campus information sessions where HR representatives will guide you through the various elements of the process to ensure you have a greater understanding of this enhanced family medical leave. Dates and locations for the Information sessions are included below. We look forward to sharing more details with you and will also be updating our family medical leave policies and resources on the website.

I want to close by thanking all of you who brought both a voice and a commitment to helping us move forward on enhancing the university’s support for families.

Sincerely,

Michelle Clements

 

Date

Start

End

Building

Room

4/24/2018 Tue

1:00 PM

2:00 PM

BANN

Bannan 402 - Classroom

4/26/2018 Thu

9:00 AM

10:00 AM

BANN

Bannan 402 - Classroom

5/1/2018 Tue

11:00 AM

12:00 PM

BANN

Engineering 312 - Classroom

5/3/2018 Thu

1:00 PM

2:00 PM

BANN

Bannan 402 - Classroom

5/8/2018 Tue

9:00 AM

10:00 AM

BANN

Bannan 402 - Classroom

5/10/2018 Thu

1:00 PM

2:00 PM

BANN

Bannan 402 - Classroom