Policy Details

Date of Last Update

Approved By
  • Senior Leadership Team

Responsible Office
Human Resources


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Parental Leave for Birth Parent and Non-Birth Parent

SLT 4.7

Policy Statement

In order to support employees as they balance family, academic, and professional responsibilities, the University provides paid time off for birth parents and non-birth parents to support the physical recovery of childbirth and provide bonding time with children new to the family.

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) policy provides access to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
  • The Parental Leave policy runs concurrently with FMLA leave and provides up to 6 weeks of paid leave. Parental leave must be taken within the first 12 months after birth, adoption or placement of a child for foster care.
  • Birth parents are eligible for up to 6-8 weeks of paid medical leave for physical recovery immediately following childbirth. 
  • All parents, including birth parents, are eligible for up to 6 weeks of paid time off to bond with a newborn, newly adopted, or newly fostered child. This applies to all GVSU employees who are eligible for salary continuation/short term disability and who hold parental relationships including birth, foster, adoption and non-birth parent. For birth parents, paid time off for bonding is to immediately follow medical leave for childbirth.


Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), a pregnancy will be treated the same as any other “disability”.

Any splitting of paid leave time requires the approval of the employee’s supervisor and appointing officer. Otherwise, it is understood the leave will be taken for a single, continuous period. Board approved holidays falling during the Parental Leave period will be counted toward the 6-week allotment. The holiday will not be counted against the FMLA entitlement. Aligning additional paid leaves immediately following FMLA or bonding period (leave stacking) is not permitted. Multiple births (e.g., twins, triplets, etc.), and multiple children adopted, fostered or assigned guardianship simultaneously are considered one event.

A parental leave request should be submitted as soon as possible. When possible, the request should be submitted at least 30 calendar days prior to the date the leave will begin.