Parental Leave or Family Emergency

The University of St. Thomas recognizes that there may be times when it is necessary for an employee to be absent from work in order to address a critical family matter that may not be covered by other university leave policies. All regular employees are eligible to request a Family Emergency/Parental Leave. (Union members must refer to their union contract.) To assist employees in meeting these family obligations, the University will provide the following:

Family Emergency Leave

An employee can request up to two weeks of paid leave for a serious family emergency requiring the employee's immediate assistance.  For purpose of this benefit, "family" is defined as the employee's spouse, son or daughter, parents, or persons defined as "dependents" by the IRS for tax purposes.  Paid leave for a serious family emergency shall be granted after the employee has used all of his/her PLT or vacation leave time.

Parental Leave

An employee can request up to two weeks of paid leave in conjunction with the birth or adoption of a child.  In the case of a birth mother, the additional two weeks shall be granted after the employee's disability benefits have ended.  A birth father or adoptive parent may request leave no sooner than two weeks prior to the expected delivery/arrival date and no later than six weeks after the birth or adoption.  If both parents are employed by UST and are eligible for parental leave benefits, they may either share one parental leave (e.g., each parent takes one week parental leave) or they may designate one parent to take the leave.  

Procedure for Requesting Leave

All requests for family emergency/parental leave must be in writing (e-mail is preferable) and should include the following information:

  1. Reason for family emergency/parental leave
  2. Requested leave time (dates or approximate dates if unknown)

The written request should be sent to the Benefits Specialist in the Human Resources Department located in AQU217 or e-mailed to  The Benefits Specialist will obtain the approval of employee’s department head and appropriate academic and administrative leader.


No more than one Family Emergency/Parental Leave will be granted per rolling year, e.g. if you request a parental or family emergency leave effective March 1, 2012, you are ineligible to do so again until March 1, 2013.  In addition, a family emergency leave is permitted for a specific situation occurring at a specific point in time. Employees may not take this type of leave on an incremental basis. Under this policy, the types of emergencies covered generally require an employee to use the family emergency leave in one block of time but not spread it out over several weeks or months.

[Note: This leave may be counted toward an employee’s FMLA leave as set forth by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA requires covered employers to grant eligible employees up to 12 weeks of leave per year for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a spouse or an immediate family member with a serious health condition, or for the employee's own serious health condition. The FMLA does not require that this time be paid—although the leave of absence under the Family Emergency/Parental Leave policy provides employees paid time off.]


Related Links

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