Policy Manual

New Child Policy


Employee absences due to pregnancy and related conditions, childbirth, or recovery from childbirth are covered by University short-term disability (STD) policy, as well as Family Medical Leave. See the Family and Medical Leave policy for more information.

Medical leave resulting from pregnancy shall entitle employees under this policy to paid STD leave for up to eight (8) weeks, or the length of time determined to be medically necessary as certified by the employee's physician. See the Short-Term Disability policy, Sick Leave policy, and Sick Leave and STD for Employees at or Above Position Grade 29 or in Grades, E, F, G, H policy for more information about paid leave time.

Persons receiving benefits under these policies are prohibited from working either at the workplace or at any other location, including the employee's home, whether for the University or otherwise. A physician's statement certifying the staff member's fitness to work may be required before she returns to the workplace.


Employees may use up to five (5) sick days in a calendar year for approved leaves for reasons other than the employee's own serious health condition or pregnancy (paternity, adoption, foster care and care of a family member with a serious health condition). Employees must substitute unused PTO for the leave unless they notify their business administrator that they want to retain 50% of their PTO balance. See the Paid Time Off Policy for more information.

Normally, employees returning from medical leave will be reinstated to the same or an equivalent position, with equivalent pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. Failure to return to work once all paid leave and unpaid FML have been exhausted may result in termination of employment. However, at times, departments, schools and/or centers may restructure due to changing business and operational needs and the need to continually enhance programs and services. These restructuring initiatives may result in position discontinuations, even positions held by employees out on FML or other types of leaves. If a staff member on FML has his/her position discontinued, he/she will be given at least 30 days written notice of the position discontinuation and will be informed of any applicable benefits that he/she may be eligible to receive under the Position Discontinuation and Staff Transition Program.


In addition to the Human Resources policies mentioned in subsections 412.1 and 412.2, faculty members bringing a new child into the home are advised to consult the Faculty and Staff Handbook on the Provost's Office website for policies fostering worklife balance, particularly provisions II.E.2 (Faculty Leaves of Absence Reduction in Duties), II.E.3 (Policy on Extension of the Probationary Periods that Apply to Granting of Tenure or Promotion to Associate Professor), and II.E.4 (Faculty Parental Policy: Active Service Modified Duties).

The application of the various policies cited above will vary based upon part or full-time status and faculty track, as set forth in the Handbook. Faculty members with questions regarding worklife benefits may contact either the Division of Human Resources at 215-898-0380 or the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at prov-fac@upenn.edu.


University staff members who are covered by collective bargaining agreements should refer to the appropriate contract article. Any contract articles incorporating or referring to previous editions of this policy shall be superseded by the current policy.

Note: Returning to work after becoming a parent can be stressful. For these and other matters, the University offers the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for free, confidential, one-to-one support at any time. The EAP can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you manage the issues at hand and prepare for a successful return to the workplace. Call 1-866-799-2329 to speak with a counselor, or visit the EAP website. You can also visit the new child benefits website to learn about the resources that can support you when you bring home a new child.

Letter #4 - FML Provisional Letter
Use this letter if staff member has notified you that s/he will be out for a possible FML qualifying event for care of newborn, adoption, or foster care.

Family Medical Leave Forms

Policy Number: 412
Effective Date: 06/19/2018
Supersedes Policy Number(s): 412 (Maternity and Childrearing 02/01/1990, 06/01/1998, 09/23/2009, 07/01/2015, 07/01/2016)

Applicability:  All Regular Staff and Faculty Members (dependent upon part or full-time status and faculty track)
Cross-reference: Policy 404 (Short-Term Disability), Policy 607 (Paid Time Off), Policy 612 (Sick Leave), Policy 613 (Sick Leave and STD for Employees at or Above Position Grade 29 or in Grades E, F, G and H), Policy 616 (Leave of Absence Without Pay), Policy 631 (Family and Medical Leave Act)

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