Maternity/Non-Birth Parent/Adoption Leave
Disability Leave - Maternity
The NCEA contract states:
1. Disabilities caused by pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth and recovery therefrom, shall be treated as temporary disabilities for all job-related purposes.
2. Accumulated sick leave shall be available for use during periods of such disability.
3. Pregnancy or childbirth shall not be the basis for termination of employment or compulsory resignation.
4. The Board of Education reserved the right to obtain proper medical certification regarding the beginning and termination of such leave and may require examination or consultation by the Medical Officer.
5. Sick leave is not applicable to normal child care.
6. The Board will continue to pay its share of insurance costs during the period of disability.
New Canaan falls under federal rather than state law because under CT statutes, Chapter 557, Sec. 31-51kk (the CT FMLA provision), paragraph 4 defines an employer within the provision and specifically excludes local boards of education among others. An NCEA employee qualifies for the provisions under FMLA federal law, but not Connecticut state FMLA provisions.
The number of days you are disabled is solely determined by your physician. He/she determines when you are disabled and can no longer work and also when you are able to return to work. Six weeks (30 school days) is the usual period of disability for a typical pregnancy and delivery and 8 weeks (40 school days) for a c-section. Accumulated sick leave is used for these days.
FMLA leave begins at the same time as the birth. The first 6 or 8 weeks that you are disabled and using accumulated sick leave is also counted toward your 12 week FMLA leave. After the 6 or 8 weeks is up, and you are no longer disabled, as determined by your physician, you may use any remaining weeks (up to 12 total) for unpaid FMLA leave. After FMLA leave you return to work.
If you are on the district health insurance plan, you would continue your normal payroll contributions for your health insurance. Please make arrangement with the payroll office.
If you will be taking a child rearing leave for the rest of the year after the FMLA leave ends, you should notify the district of your intent in your maternity leave letter so that the district can find a long term substitute. The time after the FMLA would be unpaid and you would be responsible for the full cost of your health insurance. You are entitled to a position in the district for which you are certified the following year but there is no guarantee that it will be back in the same position or school.
An employee is entitled to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for childbirth. The time is counted in weeks, not days.
Those weeks that are partial weeks (e.g. Thanksgiving week) still count as a full week against the 12 FMLA weeks.
Those weeks that school is closed for the full week or longer (e.g. April vacation, summer vacation, etc.) do NOT count against the 12 weeks.
If a teacher has a baby right before April vacation, she would be out for 13 weeks since the April vacation week would not count.
For the period of time that the teacher is certified by her doctor as disabled (generally about 6 weeks for regular childbirth and about 8 weeks for c-section, but could be longer if there are complications such as bed-rest before childbirth), the teacher uses accumulated sick days.
The disability period while the teacher is paid is also counted against the FMLA time.
Typically a teacher has 6 weeks of paid time (if she gives birth while school is in session) and 6 weeks unpaid. If she gives birth at the beginning of summer vacation, then she will no longer be disabled when school starts in the fall.
Note: if there is a snow day or a one-day holiday during the time a teacher is out on 6 or 8 week maternity leave, the days will not count against the sick leave balance but will still be counted as part of the 6/8 weeks of paid maternity leave.
Sample Maternity Letter (disability time)
Sample Maternity Letter (with FMLA)
Sample Maternity Letter (FMLA and year off)
Within the first four weeks of the birth of a child, a teacher shall be eligible for up to five (5) days for non-birth parent leave with the approval of the teacher's administrator.
Non-Birth Parent Leave
A teacher who adopts a baby shall be able to use up to thirty (30) of his/her accumulated sick days to receive the baby. Adoption leave may not be used in conjunction with personal or maternity disability leave for the same child.