Family Leave Policies Discussion/May 1997


Family Leave Policies Discussion/May 1997

Query From Stephanie Cole 21 May 1997

I have been commissioned by a new group on my campus to find examples of family leave policies at comparable institutions--large public universities. Currently (apparently)personnel offers only the federally-mandated 12 weeks unpaid leave for faculty, and has told some inquirers (but not others) that pregnant faculty women may not even use :sick days" they have accrued.

May I ask members what their institutions offer, or if they know of cites where this information is gathered? I searched this list's discussion of parenting decisions during 19995-95 and found no references to such material, other than vague anecdotes. Thanks in advance for your help.

>From Mary Elizabeth Perry 23 May 1997

When I was a member of the AHA Council and on the Professional Division, I participated in a task force on family leave, We sponsored a panel at the AHA in 1996, and those papers were to be published by _The History Teacher_(this may already be out, I'm not sure). In addition, we were in touch with Rena Cheskis-Gold, who carried out a study of family leave policies in private colleges and universities. At our request, her study is summarized and published in the Oct. 1995 _Perspectives_(the newsletter of the AHA). Rena can be reached at 203-397-1497. As I rotated off the AHA Council, the AHA staff was to compile family leave information on public colleges and universities. You can direct questions about this to Sandria Freitag, Exec. Dir. of the AHA at 202-544-2422. In addition, an anthology of essays by women in academe will be published very soon by Diane Hume George and Constance Coiner (who unfortunately died in last year's TWA crash), entitled _Silent Parenting in the Academy_. The U. of Illinois Press is bringing it out. I hope all this helps. You are looking into a very important topic.

>From Charlotte G. Borst 23 May 1997

Given my own research interests on gender and the university, (and my own administrative duties, too), I was particularly interested in this subject. I checked with the VP for HRM at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. (We are a very large, public university with a large health affairs component.) Here are her comments:

The employee here at UAB seeking maternity benefits has job protection for 4 months (in excess of the federal 12 week guidelines). The employee may use any or all accumulated sick leave for pregnancy-related conditions to the extent they have accumulated sick leave, vacation leave, personal holidays, etc, and are under a physician's care. Our VP (a mom herself who adopted two babies and is currently a single mom) notes that ours is a liberal policy, but the norm for larger employers. Hope this helps.